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2 vols. 8vo. 32*. 




VOLS. I. and II. 
From the First Invasion of the Northmen to the year 1578. 









All rigfitt rettrved 








BY a mistake which was not the author's, the title-pages 
of its first instalment described this book as being in two 
volumes. A third had, nevertheless, been previously an- 
nounced, and this promise is now fulfilled. The Desmond 
and Tyrone rebellions, the destruction of the Armada, the 
disastrous enterprise of Essex, and two foreign invasions, 
have been described in some detail ; and even those who speak 
slightingly of drum and trumpet histories may find some- 
thing of interest in the adventures of Captain Cuellar, and in 
the chapter on Elizabethan Ireland. 

A critic has said that your true State-paper historian 
may be known by his ignorance of all that has already been 
printed on any given subject. If this wise saying be true, 
then am I no State-paper historian ; for the number of 
original documents in print steadily increases as we go down 
the stream of time, and they have been freely drawn upon 
here. But by far the larger part still remains in manuscript, 
and the labour connected with them has been greater than 
before, since Mr. H. C. Hamilton's guidance was wanting 
after 1592. Much help is given by Fynes Moryson's history. 
Moryson was a great traveller, whose business it had been 
to study manners and customs, who was Mountjoy's secretary 
during most of his time in Ireland, and whose brother held 


good official positions both before and after. Much of what 
this amusing writer says is corroborated by independent 
evidence. Other authorities are indicated in the foot-notes, 
or have been discussed in the preface to the first two volumes. 
Wherever no other collection is mentioned, it is to be under- 
stood that all letters and papers cited are in the public Record 

It has not been thought generally necessary to give the 
dates both in old and new style. The officials, and English- 
men generally, invariably refused to adopt the Gregorian 
calendar, but the priests, and many Irishmen who followed 
them, naturally took the opposite course. As a rule, there- 
fore, the chronology is old style, but a double date has been 
given wherever confusion seemed likely to arise. 

It has often been said that religion had little or nothing 
to do with the Tudor wars in Ireland, but this is very far 
from the truth. It was the energy and devotion of the friars 
and Jesuits that made the people resist, and it was Spanish 
or papal gold that enabled the chiefs to keep the field. This 
volume shows how violent was the feeling against an ex- 
communicated Queen, and, whether they were always right 
or not, we can scarcely wonder that Elizabeth and her ser- 
vants saw an enemy of England in every active adherent of 

At first the Queen showed some signs of a wish to remain 
on friendly terms with the Holy See, but she became the 
Protestant champion even against her own inclination. 
Sixtus V. admired her great qualities, and invited her to 
return to the bosom of the Church. ' Strange proposition ! ' 
says Ranke, ' as if she had it in her power to choose ; as if 
her past life, the whole import of her being, her political 
position and attitude, did not, even supposing her conviction 
not to be sincere, enchain her to the Protestant cause. 
Elizabeth returned no answer, but she laughed.' 

The Elizabethan conquest of Ireland was cruel mainly 


because the Crown was poor. Unpaid soldiers are neces- 
sarily oppressors, and are as certain to cause discontent as 
they are certain to be inefficient for police purposes. The 
history of Ireland would have been quite different had it 
been possible for England to govern her as she has governed 
India by scientific administrators, who tolerate all creeds 
and respect all prejudices. But no such machinery, nor 
even the idea of it, then existed, and nothing seemed possible 
but to crush rebellion by destroying the means of resistance. 
It was famine that really ended the Tyrone war, and it was 
caused as much by internecine quarrels among the Irish as 
by the more systematic blood-letting of Mountjoy and Carew. 
The work was so completely done that it lasted for nearly 
forty years, and even then there could have been no up- 
heaval, but that forces outside Ireland had paralysed the 
English Government. 

My best thanks are due to the Marquis of Salisbury for 
his kindness in giving me access to the treasures at Hatfield, 
and to Mr. E. T. Gunton for enabling me to use that 
privilege in the pleasantest way. 

March 17, 1890. 







Papal designs against Ireland 1 

James Fitzmaurice abroad 3 

The last of Thomas Stukeley 6 

Defencelessness of Ireland 8 

Ulster in 1579 9 

Fitzmaurice invades Ireland 10 

Manifestoes against Elizabeth 13 

Attitude of Desmond 17 

Nicholas Sanders 17 

Murder of Henry Davells . . 20 

The Geraldines disunited - . .22 

Death of Fitzmaurice . . . 23 



English vacillation 25 

Progress of the rebellion 26 

Last hesitations of Desmond 28 

Desmond proclaimed traitor . 31 

Youghal sacked by Desmond 33 

Ormonde's revenge 35 

The Queen is persuaded to act , 38 

Irish warfare 40 

Pelham and Ormonde in Kerry 42 

MaUby in Connaught . . . . . . . , . 43 



State of Mtmster 44 

Ormonde's raid 48 

Rebellion of Baltinglas 61 

A Catholic confederacy 62 

Results of Pelham's policy 64 

Low condition of Desmond 67 



Arrival of Lord-Deputy Grey 59 

The disaster in Glenmalure 60 

Consequences 63 

Spanish descent in Kerry 65 

Siege and surrender of the Smerwick fort 72 

The massacre 74 

State of Connaught .79 

An empty treasury and storehouses . . . . . . . 79 

The Earl of Kildare's troubles . . . . . . . . 80 

Confusion in Munster 83 

Raleigh . . . . , -. 85 

Ormonde superseded . . . . . 87 

Death of Sanders 89 



Partial amnesty William Nugent 91 

Maltby in Connaught 92 

John of Desmond slain 93 

Savage warfare . 96 

Recall of Grey 97 

William Nugent's rebellion 99 

Ormonde is restored 101 

How ill-paid soldiers behaved 102 

Desmond's cruelty 103 

General famine 104 

Abortive negotiations 105 

The rebels repulsed from Youghal 107 

Ormonde shuts up Desmond in Kerry 107 

Last struggles of Desmond 108 

Ormonde and his detractors . 110 

Death of Desmond . . 113 

The Geraldine legend 114 




Case of Archbishop O'Hurley 116 

Spanish help comes too late 118 

Murder of Sir John Shamrock Burke 119 

Trial by combat 121 

First proceedings of Perrott 122 

Sir John Norris and Sir Richard Bingham 124 

The Church 125 

Munster forfeitures 126 

The Ulster Scots 127 

A forest stronghold 131 

Proposed University 131 

Hostility of Perrott and Loftus . 134 

State of the four provinces 135 



The MacDonnells in Ulster 1 38 

Perrott 's Parliament 140 

Composition in Connaught 147 

Perrott's troubles 148 

The Desmond attainder 149 

The MacDonnells become subjects 150 

Bingham in Connaught 151 

The Scots overthrown in Sligo 154 

Perrott's enemies . . . . . . . . . .157 

Irish troops in Holland Sir W. Stanley 161 

The Irish in Spain 163 

Prerogative and revenue . . . . . . . . . 165 

Bingham and Perrott .......... 166 

Perrott leaves Ireland peaceful 168 

The Desmond forfeitures 169 



Unprepared state of Ireland 172 

Sufferings of the Spaniards Recalde 173 

Wrecks in Kerry, Clare, and Mayo 174 

Wrecks in Galway 176 



Alonso de Leyva .... 

Wrecks in Sligo 

Adventures of Captain Cuellar . 

Spanish account of the wild Irish 

Summary of Spanish losses 

Tyrone and O'Donnell 

Wreck in Lough Foyle 

Relics and traditions 

The Armada a crusade 

The last of the Armada . 





Ulster after the Armada 

O'Donnell politics . 

The Desmond forfeitures Spenser 

Raleigh ... . 

Florence MacCarthy . 

The MacMahons . . , 

Bingham in Connaught 

O'Connor Sligo's case 

Bingham and his accusers . 

Sir Brian O'Rourke . 

Mutiny in Dublin 

Tyrone and Tirlogh Luineach . 

Rival O'Neills .... 

Rival O'Donnells . 

Hugh Roe O'Donnell . 

Tyrone and the Bagenals 




Escape of Hugh Roe O'Donnell . 
O'Donnell, Maguire, and Tyrone 
Trial and death of Perrott . 
Spanish intrigues .... 
Fighting in Ulster . 
Recall of Fitzwilliam 
Tyrone's grievances . 
Fitzwilliam, Tyrone, and Ormonde 
Florence MacCarthy . 
Remarks on Fitzwilliam's government 






Russell and Tyrone 242 

Russell relieves Enniskillen 244 

Tyrone generally suspected 245 

The Wicklow Highlanders Walter Reagh 246 

Feagh MacHugh O'Byrne 247 

Recruiting for Irish service 248 

Soldiers and amateurs 250 

Sir John Norris 251 

The Irish retake Enniskillen . 252 

Murder of George Bingham 253 

Tyrone proclaimed traitor ... 254 

Quarrels of Norris and Russell 255 

Ormonde and Tyrone 255 

Bingham, Tyrone, and Norris 256 

Death of Tirlogh Luineach O'Neill 258 

Tyrone's dealings with Spain 258 

A truce 259 

O'Donnell overruns Connanght 260 

Liberty of conscience 261 

Confusion in Connaught 263 

Elizabeth on the dispensing power 264 

Norris and Russell ........... 265 

Story of the Spanish letter 267 

Spaniards in Ulster 268 

Bingham in Connaught 268 

Bingham leaves Ireland 271 

Crusade against English Protestants 272 

Disorderly soldiers 273 

Death of Feagh MacHugh 274 

Dissensions between Norris and Russell . . . . . . . 276 

Bingham in disgrace 278 



Last acts of Russell 280 

Norris and Burgh 282 

Burgh attacks Tyrone 283 

Failure of Clifford at Ballyshannon . . . . . . . 285 

Gallant defence of Blackwater fort 286 

Death of Burgh 287 

Death of Norris 288 

Belfast in 1597 , 289 



Disaster at Carrickfergus 290 

Tyrone and Ormonde 291 

Brigandage in Munster 292 

Florence MacCarthy 293 



Bacon and Essex 294 

The Blackwater fort 295 

Battle of the Yellow Ford 297 

Panic in Dublin 300 

The Munster settlement destroyed 301 

The Sugane Earl of Desmond 302 

Spenser, Raleigh, and others 305 

The native gentry and Tyrone 307 

Religious animosity 308 

Weakness of the Government 309 

O'DonneU in Clare . .. ,. 310 

Tyrone in Munster 311 



Essex offends the Queen . . . ' 313 

His ambition 315 

Opinions of Bacon and Wot ton .' 316 

Great expectations 318 

Evil auguries 320 

Sir Arthur Chichester 321 

Essex in Leinster 323 

In Munster 324 

Siege of Cahir 325 

Deaths of Sir Thomas and Sir Henry Norris 326 

Harrington's defeat in Wicklow 328 

Failure of Essex 331 

Anger of the Queen 332 

Death of Sir Conyers Clifford 336 

Essex goes to Ulster 339 

Essex makes peace with Tyrone 340 

The Queen blames Essex 342 

Who goes home without leave 343 

Harrington's account of Tyrone ...... , 344 

JReception of Essex at court 346 

Negotiations with Tyrone .347 

Folly of Essex 343 

Liberty of conscience 349 





Raleigh's advice 351 

Tyrone's Holy War in Munster 352 

Arrival of Mountjoy and Carew . 353 

Tyrone plays the king 354 

Ormonde captured by the O'Mores 355 

Carew in Munster Florence MacCarthy 360 

Docwra occupies Derry 361 

Carew in Munster 363 

O'Donnell harries Clare 365 

j Mountjoy and Essex 366 

James VI. ' 368 

The Pale 369 

The midland counties .......... 370 

Mountjoy bridles Tyrone 372 

Progress of Docwra 373 

Relief of Derry 375 

Spaniards in Donegal .......... 37(J 

Carew reduces Munster 377 

The Queen's Earl of Desmond 379 

] The end of the house of Desmond 384 



/ Mountjoy and the Queen ......... 386 

' Final reduction of Wicklow 387 

Mountjoy and Essex 388 

Confession of Essex Lady Rich 389 

The last of the Sugane Earl 391 

Mountjoy in Tyrone 392 

Plot to assassinate Tyrone 39i? 

An Irish stronghold 394 

Brass money 395 



The Spaniards land at Kinsale 398 

Mountjoy in Munster 399 

The Spaniards come in the Pope's name 400 

The siege of Kinsale 401 

O'Donnell joins Tyrone 40H 

Spanish reinforcements 404 

VOL. in. a 



Irish auxiliaries 406 

Total defeat of Tyrone 408 

Kinsale capitulates 411 

[importance of this siege t 414 

I Great cost of the war 415 


THE END OP THE REIGN, 1602-1603. 

/ The Spaniards still feared 417 

' The Queen's anger against Tyrone 418 

Carew reduces Munster ' 419 

Siege of Dunboy 421 

Death and character of Hugh Roe O'Donnell 425 

Last struggles in Connaught . 426 

Progress of Docwra in Ulster 427 

1 The O'Neill throne broken up 428 

Last struggles in Munster 429 

O'Sullivan Bere 430 

Submission of Rory O'Donnell 432 

Tyrone sues for mercy 433 

Famine 434 

Tyrone and James VI 435 

Death of Queen Elizabeth 437 

Submission of Tyrone 438 

Elizabeth's work in Ireland .....-.., 439 



Natural features '....., 441 

Roads and strongholds .......... 442 

Field spurts 444 

Agriculture 445 

Cattle 445 

Fish 447 

Trade and manufactures 447 

Wine, ale, and whisky .......... 448 

Descriptions of the people 450 

Tyrone's soldiers 451 

Costume 452 

Conversion of chiefs into noblemen . . . . . . 453 

Bards and musicians 454 

Tobacco 4;->5 

Garrison life 456 

Spenser and his friends , 457 





Elizabeth's bishops 

Forlorn state of the Church . 

Zeal of the Roman party 

Bishop Lyon 

Position of Protestants 

Papal emissaries . 

Protestant Primates . 

Miler Magrath .... 

The country clergy . . . . 

Trinity College, Dublin . 

Irish seminaries abroad 

Early printers in Ireland 

Toleration Bacon's ideas . 

Social forces against the Reformation 







To face p. 24. 
To face p. 244. 


Page 18, line 12 from bottom, for provided to Killaloe read provided to 

Page 56, bottom line, before Sanders insert and. 
Page 384, line 4 from bottom, for Butler read Preston. 




SIDNEY'S departure had been partly delayed by a -re port that 
Stukeley's long-threatened invasion was at last coming. The 
adventurer had been knighted in Spain, and Philip had said 
something about the Duchy of Leinster. The Duke of Feria against 
and his party were willing to make him Duke of Ireland, and Stukeley. 
he seems to have taken that title. At Paris Walsingham 
remonstrated with Olivares, who carelessly, and no doubt 
falsely, replied that he had never heard of Stukeley, but that 
the king habitually honoured those who offered him service. 
Walsingham knew no Spanish, and Olivares would speak 
nothing else, so that the conversation could scarcely have 
serious results. But the remonstrances of Archbishop Fitz- 
gibbon and other genuine Irish refugees gradually told upon 
Philip, and the means of living luxuriously and making 
a show were withheld. ' The practices of Stukeley,' wrote 
Burghley to Walsingham, ' are abated in Spain by discovery 
of his lewdness and insufficiency ; ' and he went to Rome, 
where the Countess of Northumberland had secured him a 
good reception. ' He left Florida kingdom,' said Fitzwilliam 
sarcastically, ' only for holiness' sake, and to have a red hat ; ' 
adding that he was thought holy at Waterford for going 
barefooted about streets and churches. ' It is incredible,' 
says Fuller, ' how quickly he wrought himself through the 
notice into the favour, through the court into the chamber, 



on the 


yea, closet and bosom, of Pope Pius Quintus.' An able 
seaman, Stukeley was in some degree fitted to advance the 
Pontiffs darling plan for crushing the Turks. The old pirate 
did find his way to Don John of Austria's fleet, and seems 
to have been present at Lepanto. His prowess in the Levant 
restored him to Philip's favour, and he was soon again in 
Spain, in company with a Doria and in receipt of 1,000 ducats 
a week. 1 

There was much movement at the time among the Irish 
in Spain, and the air was filled with rumours. Irish friars 
showed letters from Philip ordering all captains to be punished 
who refused them passages to Ireland, and the Inquisition 
was very active. One Frenchman was nevertheless bold 
enough to say that he would rather burn than have a friar 
on board, and those who sought a passage from him had to 
bestow themselves on a Portuguese ship. In 1575 Stukeley 
was again at Home, and in as high favour with Gregory XIII. 
as he had been with his predecessor. The Pope employed 
him in Flanders, where he had dealings with Egremont 
Radcliffe. That luckless rebel had bitterly repented; but 
when he returned and offered his services to the queen, she 
spurned them and bade him depart the realm. From very 
want, perhaps, he entered Don John's service, and when that 
prince died he was executed on a trumped-up charge of 
poisoning him. Stukeley was more fortunate, for he had 
then left the Netherlands, and Don John took credit with 
the English agent for sending him away. Wilson was equal 
to the occasion, and said the gain was the king's, for 
Stukeley was a vain ' nebulo ' and all the treasures of the 
Indies too little for his prodigal expenditure. It would be 
interesting to know what passed between the two adventurers, 
the bastard of Austria and the Devonshire renegade ; between 
the man who tried to found a kingdom at Tunis, and talked 

1 Strype's Annals, Eliz. lib. i. ch. i. and ii. i. Walsingham to Cecil, 
February 25, 1571, and Burghley to Walsingham, June 5, both in Digges's 
Complete Ambassador. Lady Northumberland to Stukeley, June 21, 1571, 
in Wright's Elizabeth. Answers of Martin de Guerres, master mariner, 
February 12, 1572; Examination of Walter French, March 30; report of 
John Crofton, April 13. 


of marrying Mary Stuart, conquering England, and obtaining CHAP, 
the crown matrimonial, and the man who, having dreamed of . ^ 
addressing his dear sister Elizabeth from the throne of Florida, 
now sought to deprive her of the Duchy of Ireland. Like so 
many who had to deal with this strange being, perhaps the 
governor of the Netherlands was imposed upon by his 
vapourings and treated him as a serious political agent. After 
leaving Brussels he went to Rome, well supplied with money 
and spending it in his old style everywhere. At Sienna 
Mr. Henry Cheek thought him so dangerous that he moved to 
Ferrara to be out of his way. At Florence the Duke honoured 
Stukeley greatly, ' as did the other dukes of Italy, esteeming 
him as their companion.' But he was without honour among 
his own countrymen, and they refused a dinner to which he 
invited all the English at Sienna except Cheek. 1 

James Fitzmaurice was already at Rome. He had spent Fitzmau- 
the best part of two years in France, where he was well en- Continent. 
tertained, but where he found no real help. He received 
supplies of money occasionally. The Parisians daily addressed 
him as King of Ireland, but nothing was done towards the 
realisation of the title. Sir William Drury's secret agent was 
in communication with one of Fitzmaurice's most trusted 
companions, and his hopes and fears were well known in 
Ireland. At one time he was sure of 1,200 Frenchmen, at 
another he was likely to get 4,000 ; and De la Roche, who 
was no stranger in Munster, was to have at least six tall ships 
for transport. De la Roche did nothing but convey the 
exile's eldest son, Maurice, to Portugal, where he entered the 
University of Coimbra. Sir Amyas Paulet had instructions 
to remonstrate with the French Court, and the old Puritan 
seems to have been quite a match for Catherine de Medici ; 
but there was little sincerity on either side. The Queen- 
mother's confidential agent confessed that all was in disorder, 

1 Stukeley to Mistress Julian (from Rome) October 24, 1575, in Wright's 
Elizabeth, Motley's Dutch Republic, part v. ch. v. ; Strype's Annals, Eliz. 
book ii. ch. viii. ; Wilson to Burghley and Walsingham, February 19, 1577, 
and to the Queen, May 1, both in the Calendar of S. P. Foreign ; Henry 
Cheek to Burghley, March 29, 1577 ; Strype's Life of Sir John C/wek. 
Stukeley left Don John at the end of February, 1577. 

B 2 


and that the French harbours were full of pirates and thieves, 
but she herself told Paulet that De la Roche had strict orders 
to attempt nothing against England. Having little hope of 
France, Fitzmaurice himself went to Spain, where his recep- 
tion was equally barren of result. The Catholic King was 
perhaps offended at the Most Christian King having been 
first applied to, and at all events he was not yet anxious to 
break openly with his sister-in-law. 1 

Fitzmau- But at Rome, Fitzmaurice was received by Gregory with 

Pope. open arms. He was on very friendly terms with Everard 

Mercurian, the aged general of the Jesuits, who was, however, 
personally opposed to sending members of the order to Eng- 
land, Ireland, or Scotland ; a point on which he was soon 
overruled by younger men. What the life of a Jesuit mis- 
sionary was may be gathered from a letter written to the 
General about this time. 

' Once,' wrote Edmund Tanner from Rosscarbery, ' was I 
captured by the heretics and liberated by God's grace, and 
the industry of pious people ; twelve times did I escape the 
snares of the impious, who would have caught me again had 
God permitted them.' 

But the harvest, though hard to reap, was not inconsider- 
able. Tanner reported that nobles and townsmen were daily 
received into the bosom of Holy Church out of the ' sink of 
schism,' and that the conversion would have been much more 
numerous but that many feared present persecution, and the 
loss of life, property, or liberty. 

This chain still kept back a well-affected multitude, but the 
links were worn, and there was good hope that it soon would 
break. 2 
Fitzman- -yy e k now f rom an original -paper which fell into the 

rice expects 

to free Ire- hands of the English Government, what were Fitzmaurice's 
modes and requirements for the conquest of Ireland. Six 
thousand armed soldiers and their pay for six months, ten 

1 Intelligence received by Drury, February 19, 1577, and April 16 ; Ex- 
amination of Edmund MacGawran and others May 10 ; Paulet to Wilson, 
August, 1577, in Murdin's State Papers. 

2 Edmundus Tanner Patri Generali Everardo, October 11, 1577, in 
Hogan's Hibemia Ignatiana. 


good Spanish or Italian officers, six heavy and fifteen light CHAP. 

guns, 3,000 stand of arms with powder and lead, three ships , J- 

of 400, 50, and 30 tons respectively, three boats for crossing 
rivers, and a nuncio with twenty well- instructed priests such 
were the instruments proposed. He required licence to take 
English ships outside Spanish ports, and to sell prizes in 
Spain. Property taken from Geraldines was to remain in the 
family, and every Geraldine doing good service was to be 
confirmed by his Holiness and his Catholic Majesty in land 
and title. Finally, 6,000 troops were to be sent to him in six 
months; should he make a successful descent. 

As sanguine, or as desperate, as Wolfe Tone in later 
times, he fancied that England could be beaten in her own 
dominion by such means as these. Sanders, who was probably 
deceived by his Irish friends as to the amount of help which 
might be expected in Ireland, had no belief in Philip, whom 
he pronounced ' as fearful of war as a child of fire.' The Pope 
alone could be trusted, and he would give 2,000 men. ' If 
they do not serve to go to England,' he said, ' at least they 
will serve to go to Ireland ; the state of Christendom de- ' 
pendeth upon the stout assailing of England.' l 

Stukeley appears to have got on better with Fitzmaurice Fitzmau- 
than with Archbishop Fitzgibbon, which may have been Stukeley. 
owing to the mediation of Sanders or Allen. The Pope 
agreed to give some money, and Fitzmaurice hit upon an 
original way of raising an army. ' At that time,' says an 
historian likely to be well informed about Roman affairs, 
' Italy was infested by certain bands of robbers, who used to 
lurk in woods and mountains, whence they descended by 
night to plunder the villages, and to spoil travellers on the 
highways. James implored Pope Gregory XIII. to afford 
help to the tottering Catholic Church in Ireland, and obtained 
pardon for these brigands on condition of accompanying him 
to Ireland, and with these and others he recruited a force of 

1 Sanders to Allen, Nov. 6, 1577 (from Madrid) in Cardinal Allen's 
Memorials; James Fit zmaurice's instruction and advice (now among the 
undated papers of 1578) written in Latin and signed ' spes nostra Jesus et 
Maria, Jacobus Geraldinus Desrnonite." 



Battle of 

D.'.-itli of 

1,000 soldiers more or less.' This body of desperadoes was 
commanded by veteran officers, of which Hercules of Pisa (or 
Pisano) was one, and accompanied by Sanders and by Cornelius 
O'Mulrian, Bishop of Killaloe. Stukeley kept up the outward 
show of piety which he had begun at Waterford and con- 
tinued in Spain, and he obtained a large number of privileged 
crucifixes from the Pontiff, perhaps with the intention of 
selling them well. It must be allowed that an army of 
brigands greatly needed indulgence, and fifty days were 
granted to everyone who devoutly beheld one of these crosses, 
the period beginning afresh at each act of adoration. Every 
other kind of indulgence might seem superfluous after this, 
but many were also offered for special acts of prayer, a main 
object of which was the aggrandisement of Mary Stuart. 

Stukeley was placed in supreme charge of the expedition, 
which seems to have been done by the desire of Fitz- 
maurice, and the titles conferred on him by Gregory were 
magnificent enough even for his taste. He took upon him- 
self to act as mediator between some travelling Englishmen 
and the Holy Office, and having obtained their release he 
gave them a passport. This precious document was in the 
name of Thomas Stukeley, Knight, Baron of Eoss and Idrone, 
Viscount of Murrows and Kinsella, Earl of Wexford and 
Carlow, Marquis of Leinster, General of our Most Holy 
Father ; and the contents are certified ' in ample and infal- 
lible manner.' Marquis of Leinster was the title by which 
Roman ecclesiastics generally addressed him. 1 

Stukeley left Civita Vecchia early in 1 578, and brought his 
ships, his men, and his stores of arms to Lisbon, where he 
found nine Irish refugees, priests and scholars, whom Gregoiy 
had ordered to accompany him. He called them together, 
and, with characteristic grandiosity, offered a suitable daily 
stipend to each. Six out of the nine refused, saying : ' They 
were no man's subjects, and would take no stipend from 
anyone but the supreme Pontiff, or some king or great 

1 This passport, given at Cadiz in April, 1578, ' by command of his Kx- 
cellency,' is in Sidney Papers, i. 263. O'Sullivan's Hist. Cath. lib. iv. cap. 
xv. O'Duly's Geraldines, cb. xx. Strype's Annals, Eliz. book ii. ch. xiii. 


prince.' This exhibition of the chronic ill-feeling between CHAP. 


English and Irish refugees argued badly for the success of - -_ r '^ 

their joint enterprise. After some hesitation, Sebastian of 
Portugal decided not to take part in this attack on a friendly 
power, and he invited the English adventurer to join him in y 
invading Morocco, where dynastic quarrels gave him a pretext 
for intervention. Secretary Wilson was told that Stukeley 
had no choice, ' the King having seized upon him and his 
company to serve in Africa.' Sebastian had also German 
mercenaries with him. There was a sort of alliance at this 
time between England and Morocco, Elizabeth having sent 
an agent, with an Irish name, who found the Moorish Emperor 
' an earnest Protestant, of good religion and living, and well 
experimented as well in the Old Testament as in the New, 
with great affection to God's true religion used in Her High- 
ness's realm.' Whatever we may think of this, it is easy to 
believe that the Moor despised Philip as being ' governed by 
the Pope and Inquisition.' But it is not probable that this 
curious piece of diplomacy had much effect on the main issue. 
Stukeley warned Sebastian against rashness, advising him to 
halt at the seaside to exercise his troops, who were chiefly 
raw levies, and to gain some experience in Moorish tactics. 
But the young King, whose life was of such supreme impor- 
tance to his country, was determined to risk all upon the 
cast of a die. The great battle of Alcazar was fatal alike to 
the Portuguese King and the Moorish Emperor. Stukeley 
also fell, fighting bravely to the last, at the head of his 
Italians. It may be said of him, as it was said of a greater 
man, that nothing in his life became him so much as his 
manner of leaving it. 1 

The Geraldine historian, O'Daly, says Fitzmaurice landed Kesuit of 
in Ireland entirely ignorant of Stukeley's fate, but this state- l 
ment is contradicted by known dates. Nor can we believe 
that if Stukeley had come with his Italian swordsmen while 

1 Letter signed by ' Donatus Episcopus Aladensis,' David Wolf the Jesuit, 
and two other Irish priests, printed from the Vatican archives in Brady's 
Episcopal Succession, ii. p. 174. Edmund Hogan to Queen Elizabeth (from 

Morocco) June 11, 1577 ; Dr. Wilson to , June 14, 1578, in Wright's 




CHAP. Fitzmaurice lived, it would have fared ill with the English 


<- , '- that a little money and less blood would have sufficed to 

drive them out of Ireland. Yet it is probably true that the 
battle of Alcazar was of great indirect value to England. 
Sebastian left no heir, and the Crown of Portugal devolved 
on his great-uncle, Cardinal Henry, who was sixty-seven and 
childless. The next in reversion was Philip II., whose 
energies were now turned towards securing the much-coveted 
land which nature seemed to designate as proper to be joined 
with Spain. For a time, however, it was supposed that he 
would heartily embrace the sanguine Gregory's schemes, and 
rumours were multiplied by hope or fear. 

I re' and ill- Lord Justice Drury knew that the lull in Ireland was 
resist Tnva- on \J temporary, but Elizabeth made it an excuse for economy, 
and disaffected people, ' otherwise base-minded enough,' were 
encouraged to believe that the government would stand 
anything rather than spend money. By refusing to grant 
any protections, and by holding his head high, Drury kept 
things pretty quiet, but he had to sell or pawn his plate. 
He hinted that, as there was no foreign invasion, her Majesty 
might continue to pay him his salary, and save his credit. 
Meanwhile, he had some small successes. Feagh MacHugh 
made his submission in Christ Church cathedral, and gave 
pledges to Harrington, whom he acknowledged as his captain. 
Desmond and his brother John came to Waterford and be- 
haved well, and a considerable number of troublesome local 
magnates made their submissions at Carlow, Leighlin, Castle- 
dermot, and Kilkenny ; twenty-nine persons were executed at 
Philipstown, but the fort was falling down, and this was 
little likely to impress the neighbouring chiefs. Drury 's pre- 
sence alone saved it from a sudden attack by the O'Connors. 
But a son of O'Doyne's was fined for concealment, and his 
father took it well, so that it was possible to report some 
slight progress of legal ideas. Meanwhile there was great 
danger lest the Queen's ill-judged parsimony should destroy 
much of what had been done in Sidney's time. Thus, the 
town of Carrickfergtis had been paved and surrounded by wet- 
ditches ; the inhabitants had, in consequence, been increased 


from twenty to two hundred, forty fishermen resorted daily 

to the quay, and sixty ploughs were at work. But over 200?. , '> 

was owing to the town, the garrison were in danger of starving, 

and it was feared that ' the townsmen came not so fast thither, 

but would faster depart thence.' l 

Tirlogh Luineach O'Neill was now old and in bad Ulster in 
health. It was again proposed to make him a peer; but 
this was not done, since it was evident that a title would 
make fresh divisions after his death. There were already four 
competitors, or rather groups of competitors, for the reversion ; 
of whom only two were of much importance. Shane O'Neill's 
eldest legitimate son, known as Henry MacShane, was 
supported by one legitimate and five illegitimate brothers, 
and Drury's idea was ' by persuasion or by force of testoons ' 
to make him a counterpoise to the Baron of Dungannon, whose 
ambitious character was already known. The bastardy of 
the baron's grandfather had been often condoned by the 
Crown, but was not forgotten and might be turned to account. 
Against the advice of his leeches old Tirlogh was carried 
forty miles on men's shoulders, to meet Bagenal at Blackwater, 
and said he was most anxious to meet Drury. Dungannon, 
who expected an immediate vacancy, begged hard for 200 
soldiers, without which the MacShanes would muster twice 
as many men as he could. He promised not to go out of his 
own district as long as the old chief lived. Drury tem- 
porised, since he could do nothing else, and tried what effect 
his own presence in the North might have. The suddenness 
of his movement frightened Tirlogh, who got better, contrary 
to all expectation, and showed himself with a strong force on 
the top of a hill near Armagh, refusing however to come in 
without protection. This Drury refused on principle, and 
Tirlogh's wife, who was clever enough to see that no 
harm was intended, tried in vain to bring her husband to the 
Viceroy's camp. Meanwhile he and the Baron became fast 

1 Drury to Walsingham, Jan. 6 and 12, 1579 ; to Burghley, Sept. 21, 
1578; Drury and Fitton to Burghley, Oct. 10, 1578; Fitton to Burghley, 
Feb. 22, 1579. Note of services &c., town of Knock fergus in Caren; ii. 
p. 148. 


friends, and the latter proposed to put away O'Donnell's 
daughter, to whom he was perhaps not legally married, and 
to take Tirlogh's for his wife. Drury made him promise not 
to deal further in the match ; but his back was no sooner 
turned than the marriage was celebrated, and the other un- 
fortunate sent back to Tyrconnell. At the same time 
Tirlogh gave another of his daughters to Sorley Boy 
MacDonnell's son, and the assistance of the Scots was thus 
supposed to be secured. There were rumours that Fitzmaurice 
would land at Sligo, and a general confederacy was to be 
looked for. Fitton, who had been long enough in Ireland to 
know something about it, saw that the Irish had great natural 
wits and knew how to get an advantage quite as well as more 
civil people, and that Tirlogh, like the rest of his country- 
men, would submit while it suited him and no longer. 1 

After Stukeley's death James Fitzmaurice continued to 
Sanders prepare for a descent on Ireland. After his return from 
Land!"* " Rome he went to France, where he joined his wife, son, and 
two daughters. He then spent nearly three months at Madrid 
with Sanders, and obtained 1,000 ducats for his wife, who 
was then in actual penury at ' Vidonia ' in Biscay. But he 
could not see the king, and professed himself indifferent to 
help from Spain or Portugal. ' I care for no soldiers at all,' 
he said to Sanders ; ' you and I are enough ; therefore let me 
go, for I know the minds of the noblemen in Ireland.' Some 
of Stukeley's men, with a ship of about 400 tons, had survived 
the Barbary disaster. O'Mulrian, Papal Bishop of Killaloe, 
came to Lisbon from Rome with the same men and two 
smaller vessels, and by the Pope's orders Stukeley's ship was 
given to them. Sanders accompanied the bishop, and there 
seem to have been about 600 men Italians, Spaniards, 
Portuguese, Flemings, Frenchmen, Irish, and a few English. 
It was arranged that this motley crew should join Fitz- 
maurice at Corunna, and then sail straight to Ireland. A 
Waterford merchant told his wife that the men were very 

1 Drury to Walsingham, Jan. 6, 1579 (enclosing an O'Neill pedigree) ; 
to Burghley, Jan. 6 and Feb. 11, 1679; to the Privy Council, March 14; 
Fitton to Burghley, Fb. 12, 1579. 


reticent, but were reported to be about to establish the true CHAP. 


religion. When questioned they said they were bound for ^Ll^, 1, 
Africa, but the Waterford man thought they were going to 
spoil her Majesty's subjects. Meanwhile Fitzmaurice was at 
Bilbao with a few light craft. The largest was of sixty 
tons, commanded by a Dingle man who knew the Irish coast, 
but who ultimately took no part in the expedition. William 
Roche, who had been Perrott's master gunner at Castle- 
maine, and James Den of Galway, were also retained as 
pilots. A little later Fitzmaurice had a ship of 300 tons, 
for which he gave 800 crowns, several small pieces of 
artillery, 6,000 muskets, and a good supply of provisions 
and trenching tools. The men received two months' pay 
in advance. 

Fitzmaurice's one idea was to raise an army in Munster, 
and he told an Irish merchant who thought his preparations 
quite inadequate, that ' when the arms were occupied ' he made 
no account of all the Queen's forces in Ireland. He was 
accompanied by his wife and daughter and about fifty men, 
who were nearly all Spaniards. Sanders went to Bilbao 
after a short stay at Lisbon, and two merchants, one of 
Waterford and one of Wexford, who came together from 
the Tagus to the Shannon, reported that a descent was 
imminent. ' The men,' they said, ' be willing ; they want 
no treasure, they lack no furniture, and they have skilful 
leaders.' To oppose a landing the Queen had one disabled ship 
in Ireland, and there were no means of fitting her out for sea. 1 

The French rover, De la Roche, in spite of Catherine de 
Medici's assurance, seems to have co-operated with Fitzmaurice. The voy- 
John Picot, of Jersey, bound for Waterford with Spanish age * 
wine, was warned at San Lucar by a Brest man that De la 
Roche and Fitzmaurice spoiled everyone they met. To avoid 
them Picot kept wide of the coast ; nevertheless he fell in 

1 Patrick Lumbarde to his wife (from Lisbon) Feb. 20, 1579 ; Nic. 
Walshe to Drury, Feb. 27 ; Declaration of James Fagan and Leonard Sut- 
ton, March 23 ; Drury to Walsingham, March 6 ; Desmond to Drury, April 
20 ; Examination of Dominick Creagh, April 22, and of Thomas Mouvell 
of Kinsale, mariner, April 30. 




rice and 
rearh Ire- 

with eight sail 60 leagues N.W. of Cape St. Vincent. They 
fired and obliged him to lower a boat, and then robbed him 
of wine, oil, raisins, and other things of Spain. Picot saw 
twelve pieces of cannon in De la Roche's hold, but was warned 
significantly not to pry under hatches again. The Jerseymen 
were beaten, the St. Malo men spared, and all were told, with 
' vehement oaths and gnashing of teeth,' that if they had 
been Englishmen they would have been thrown overboard a 
fate which actually befell the crew of a Bristol vessel two or 
three days later. Finding that Picot was going to Ireland, 
his captors said they would keep company with him ; but 
thick weather came on, and by changing his course, he got 
clear within twenty-four hours. A few days after Fitzmaurice 
was in Dursey Sound with six ships, and others were sighted 
off Baltimore. He picked up a fisherman and bade him fetch 
in Owen O'Sullivan Bere, but that chief refused, and three 
days later the invading squadron cast anchor off Dingle. 1 

The portreeve and his brethren went off to speak with 
the strangers next morning. Some Spaniards whom they 
knew refused to let them come on board, and they sent at 
once to Desmond for help. The preparations for resistance 
were of the slightest. The constable of Castlemaine reported 
that he had only five hogsheads of wheat, two tuns of wine, 
three hogsheads of salmon, and some malt ; and that he was 
dependent for meat upon such bruised reeds as Desmond and 
Clancare. There were neither men nor stores at Dublin, and 
no hope of borrowing even 500Z. Cork had but five barrels 
of inferior powder, and no lead. At Waterford there were 
only 2,000 pounds of powder.- All that Drury could do was 
to write letters charging the Munster lords to withstand the 
traitors, but a fortnight passed before he himself could get 
as far as Limerick. 2 

1 July 17, 1579. Examination (at Waterford) of John Picot of Jersey, 
mnster, and Fr. Gyrard, of St. Malo, pilot, July 24 ; Lord Justice and 
Council to the Privy Council, July 22 ; Sir Owen O'Sullivan to Mayor of Cork, 
July 16 ; Portreeve of Dingle to Earl of Desmond, July 17. The story of 
the Bristol crew is told in Mr. Froude's 27th chapter, ' from a Simancas MS.' 

2 Lord Justice and Council to the Privy Council with enclosure, July 22, 
l.")79 ; Waterhouse to Walsingham, July 23 and 2G ; Mayor of Waterford to 
Drury, July 25. 


Mr. James Golde, Attorney-General for Munster, writing CHAP. 

from Tralee, thus describes the manner of Fitzmaurice's . 

landing, which took place on the day after his arrival at a t Dingle. 
Dingle : 

' The traitor upon Saturday last came out of his ship. 
Two friars were his ancient- bearers, and they went before 
with two ancients. A bishop, with a crozier-staff and his 
mitre, was next the friars. After came the traitor himself at 
the head of his company, about 100, and went to seek for 
flesh and kine, which they found, and so returned to his 
ships.' l On the same day they burned the town, lit fires on 
the hills as if signalling to some expected allies, and then )( 
shifted their berths to Smerwick harbour, taking with them 
as prisoners some of the chief inhabitants of Dingle. At 
Smerwick they began to construct a fort, of which the later 
history is famous. It was believed that Fitzmaurice ex- 
pected immediate help out of Connaught. Ulick Burke is 
obedient,' said Waterhouse ; ' but I believe that John will 
presently face the confederacy.' Drury could only preach 
fidelity, and commission Sir Humphrey Gilbert to take up 
ships and prosecute the enemy by sea and land. 2 

Fitzmaurice brought to Ireland two printed proclama- Proclama- 
tions one in English for those who spoke it and were maurice. 
attached to the English crown, the other in Latin for the 
Irish and their priests. 

The first paper sets forth that Gregory XIII. ' perceiving 
what dishonour to God and his Saints, &c. . . . hath fallen 
to Scotland, France, and Flanders, by the procurement of 
Elizabeth, the pretensed Queen of England ; perceiving also 
that neither the warning of other Catholic princes and good 
Christians, nor the sentence of Pope Pius V., his predecessor, 
nor the long sufferance of God, could make her to forsake her 
schism, heresy, and wicked attempts; now purposeth (not 
without the consent of other Catholic potentates) to deprive 

1 James Golde to the Mayor of Limerick, July 22, 1579. 

2 Desmond, abp. of Cashel (Magrath), and Wm. Apsley to Drury, July 
20, 1579 ; Waterhouse to Walsingham, July 23 and 24 ; Commission to Sir 
H. Gilbert, July 24 ; James Golde to the Mayor of Limerick, July 22. 


CHAP, her actually of the unjust possession of these kingdoms, &c.' 
v , -, Any attack on the Crown of England is disclaimed; the 
usurper was alone aimed at, and the help of the English 
Catholics was considered certain. The Catholics were every- 
where, but 'Wales, Chestershire, Lancastershire, and Cum- 
berland' were entirely devoted to the old faith, and their 
proximity to Ireland increased their importance. Throughout 
England the husbandmen the raw material of every army 
were ' commonly all Catholics.' Elizabeth had a few friends 
indeed, but she would be afraid to send them away from her, 
and if Ireland remained united, all must go well. One great 
crime of Queen Elizabeth was her refusal to declare an heir- 
apparent ; by espousing the cause of that heir, whose name 
is not mentioned, the reward of those who worship the rising 
sun might fairly be expected. Fitzmaurice explained that 
the Pope had appointed him general because he alone had 
been present at Rome, but that he intended to act by the 
advice of the Irish prelates, princes, and lords, ' whom he took 
in great part for his betters.' And his appeal ends thus : 
' This one thing I will say, which I wish to be imprinted on 
all our hearts, if all we that are indeed of a good mind 
would openly and speedily pass our faith by resorting to 
his Holiness' banner, and by commanding your people and 
countries to keep no other but the Catholic faith, and forth- 
with to expel all heresies and schismatical services, you should 
not only deliver your country from heresy and tyranny, but 
also do that most godly and noble act without any danger at 
all, because there is no foreign power that would or durst 
go about to assault so universal a consent of this country ; 
being also backed and maintained by other foreign powers, as 
you see we are, and, God willing, shall be ; but now if one of 
you stand still and look what the other doth, and thereby the 
ancient nobility do slack to come or send us (which God 
forbid), they surely that come first, and are in the next place 
of honour to the said nobility, must of necessity occupy the 
chief place in his Holiness' army, as the safeguard thereof 
requireth, not meaning thereby to prejudice any uobleman in 
his own dominion or lanls, which he otherwise rightfully 


possesseth, unless lie be found to fight, or to aid them that do CHAP. 
fight, against the Cross of Christ and his Holiness' banner, for 1-, ^ 
both which I, as well as all other Christians, ought to spend 
our blood and, for my part, intend at least by God's grace, 
Whom I beseech to give you all, my lords, in this world 
courage and stoutness for the defence of His faith, and in the 
world to come life everlasting.' l 

The whole document is a good example of the sanguine Continuity 
rhetoric in which exiles have always indulged, and of the way 
in which the leaders of Irish sedition have been accustomed 
to talk. The part assigned to continental powers and to 
English Catholics in the sixteenth century, was transferred to 
the French monarchy in the seventeenth, and to the revolu- 
tionary republic in the eighteenth ; and now, in the nineteenth, 
it is given to the United States of America, and to the British / 

A translation of the shorter paper may well be given in A second 
full: 'A just war requires three conditions a just cause, 
lawful power, and the means of carrying on lawful war. It 
shall be made clear that all three conditions are fulfilled in 
the present case. 

' The cause of this war is God's glory, for it is our care to 
restore the outward rite of sacrifice and the visible honour of 
the holy altar which the heretics have impiously taken away. 
The glory of Christ is belied by the heretics, who deny that 
his sacraments confer grace, thus invalidating Christ's gospel 
on account of which the law was condemned ; and the glory 
of the Catholic Church they also belie, which against the 
truth of the Scriptures they declare to have been for some 
centuries hidden from the world. But in the name of God, 
in sanctification by Christ's sacraments, and in preserving 
the unity of the Church, the salvation of us all has had its 
chief root. 

' The power of this war is derived first from natural, and 
then from evangelical, law. Natural law empowers us to 
defend ourselves against the very manifest tyranny of heretics, 

1 The signature is ' In omni tribulatione spes mea Jesus et Maria, James 


CHAP, who, against the law of nature, force us, under pain of death, 
_'^ to abjure our first faith in the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, 
and unwillingly to receive and profess a plainly contrary 
religion ; a yoke which has never been imposed by Christians, 
Jews, or Turks, nor by themselves formerly upon us. And 
so since Christ in his gospel has given the help of the king- 
dom of heaven that is, the supreme administration of his 
Church to Peter, Gregory XIII., the legitimate successor of 
that chief of the Apostles in the same chair, has chosen us 
general of this war, as abundantly appears from his letters 
and patent (diploma), and which he has the rather done that 
his predecessor, Pius V., had deprived Elizabeth, the patroness 
of those heresies, of all royal power and dominion, as his 
declaratory decision (sententia), which we have also with us, 
most manifestly witnesseth. 

' Thus we are not warring against the legitimate sceptre 
and honourable throne of England, but against a she-tyrant 
who has deservedly lost her royal power by refusing to listen 
to Christ in the person of his vicar, and through daring to 
subject Christ's Church to her feminine sex on matters of 
faith, about which she has no right to speak with authority. 

' In what belongs to the conduct of the war, we have no 
thoughts of invading the rights of our fellow-citizens, nor of 
following up private enmities, from which we are especially 
free, nor of usurping the supreme royal power. I swear that 
God's honour shall be at once restored to Him, and we are 
ready at any moment to lay down the sword, and to obey our 
lawful superiors. But if any hesitate to combat heresy, it is 
they who rob Ireland of peace, and not us. For when there 
is talk of peace, not with God but with the Devil, then we 
ought to say, with our Saviour : I came not to bring peace on 
. earth, but a sword. If then we wage continual war to restore 
peace with God, it is most just that those who oppose us 
should purchase their own damnation, and have for enemies 
all the saints whose bones they spurn, and also God himself, 
whose glory they fight against. 

' Let so much here suffice, for if anyone wishes to under- 
stand the rights of the case he need but read and understand 


the iustice and reasonableness of the fuller edict which we CHAP. 


have taken care should be also published.' l - - . ^ 

In these papers the arguments derived from the right to jj ow YH Z . 
liberty of conscience, which all Protestants should respect, 

and from the Papal claims which all Protestants deny, are liberty of 
blended with no small skill ; but Fitzmaurice, while demand- 
ing liberty of conscience for himself, expressly denies it to 3 
those who disagree with him. 

There can be no doubt that Desmond was jealous of James Desmond 
Fitzmaurice ; and historians well-affected to the Geraldines 
have attributed the latter's rebellion to the ill-feeling existing 
between them. It is said that Lady Desmond, who was a 
Butler, had prevented her husband from making any provi- 
sion for his distinguished kinsman. It was reported to Drury 
that Fitzmaurice had called himself Earl of Desmond on the 
Continent, and that this would be sure to annoy the Earl, 
whose pride was overweening. But this does not seem to 
have been the case. Fitzmaurice is not called Earl either 
in his own letters or in those written to him. The general of 
the Jesuits addresses him as ' the most illustrious Lord James 
Geraldine ' ; the Pope speaks of him as James Geraldine 
simply, and so he calls himself, sometimes adding ' of Des- 
mond.' But that he should have been appointed general 
of a force which was to operate in Desmond's country was 
quite enough to excite suspicion. No sooner did the news of 
his arrival reach the Earl than he wrote to tell Drury that he 
and his were ready to venture their lives in her Majesty's 
quarrel, ' and to prevent the traitorous attempts of the said 
James.' He had nevertheless been in correspondence with 
Fitzmaurice, and had urged his immediate descent upon the 
Irish coast some eighteen months before. 2 

Not less important than Fitzmaurice was Dr. Nicholas 

1 These two declarations are at Lambeth. In the Carew Calendar, they 
are wrongly placed under 1569, when Pius V. was still alive. They are 
printed in full in the Irish (Kilkenny) Archaeological Journal, N.S. ii. 364. 

2 Desmond to Drury, July 19, 1579 ; Russell. The letter from Desmond's 
servant, William of Danubi, to Fitzmaurice, calendared under July 1579 
(No. 37) certainly belongs to the end of 1577, just after Rory Oge had burned 

VOL. III. c 



the Jesuit. 

best of both 

Sanders, who acted as treasurer of the expedition. He was 
known by the treatise De Visibili Monarchia which Parker 
said was long enough to wear out a Fabius, and almost un- 
answerable, ' not for the invincibleness of it, but for the huge 
volume.' Answers were nevertheless written which no doubt 
satisfied the Anglican party, but the Catholic refugees at 
Brussels thought so highly of Sanders that they begged Philip 
to get him made a cardinal. 

The English were then in disgrace at Rome, where the 
appointment of a Welshman as Rector of the new college had 
caused a mutiny among the students, and Allen doubted 
whether his own credit was good, but it was upon him that 
the red hat was at last conferred. To Sanders must be 
ascribed most of what was written in Fitzmaurice's name, 
and that was a small part of what fell from his prolific pen. 
Queen Elizabeth, 'said the nuncio, was a heretic. She was 
childless, and the approaching extinction of Henry VII I. 's 
was an evident judgment. She was ' a wicked woman, 
neither born in true wedlock nor esteeming her Christendom, 
and therefore deprived by the Vicar of Christ, her and your 
lawful judge.' Her feminine supremacy was a continuation 
of that which the Devil implanted in Paradise when he made 
Eve Adam's mistress in God's matters.' When a knowledge 
of Celtic was necessary Sanders's place might be taken by 
Cornelius O'Mulrian, an observant friar, lately provided to 
the see of Killaloe, or by Donough O'Gallagher, of the same 
order, who was provided to Killaloe in 1570. Letters in Irish 
were written to the Munster MacDonnells, Hebridean gallow- 
glasses serving in Desmond, whom Fitzmaurice exhorts to 
help him at once ' first, inasmuch as we are fighting for our 

f a ith, and for the Church of God ; and next, that we are de- 

. . . 

fending our country, and extirpating heretics, barbarians, and 

unjust and lawless men ; and besides that you were never 
employed by any lord who will pay you and your people their 
wages and bounty better than I shall, inasmuch as I never 
was at any time more competent to pay it than now ..... We 
are on the side of truth and they on the side of falsehood ; we are 
Catholic Christians, and they are heretics; justice is with us, and 


injustice with them. . . . All the bouaght men shall get their CHAP 

pay readily, and moreover we shall all obtain eternal wages from , '- 

our Lord, from the loving Jesus, on account of fighting for his 

sake I was never more thankful to God for having 

great power and influence than now. Advise every one of 
your friends who likes fighting for his religion and his country 
better than for gold and silver, or who wishes to obtain them 
all, to come to me, and that he will find each of these things.' 1 

In the letter written by Sanders to Desmond in Fitz- Fitzmau- 
maurice's name, the Earl is reminded that the latter ' war- "e^txj 
fareth under Christ's banner, for the restoring of the Catholic Desmond - 
faith in Ireland." Then, flying into the first person in his 
hurry, he says His Holiness ' has made me general-captain of 
this Holy War.' There are many allusions to Christ's 
banner and to the ancient glories of the Geraldines, and the 
epistle ends with a recommendation to ' your fellows, and to 
all my good cousins your children, and to my dear uncle 
your brother, longing to see all us, all one, first as in faith 
so in field, and afterwards in glory and life everlasting.' 

A like appeal was made to the Earl of Kildare, and we 
may be sure that none of the Munster lords were forgotten. 
Friars were busy with O'Rourke, O'Donnell, and other 
northern chiefs, and the piratical O'Flaherties brought a 
flotilla of galleys, which might have their own way in the 
absence of men-of-war. Three of Fitzmaurice's ships sailed 
away, and were expected soon to return with more help. 
Thomas Courtenay of Devonshire happened to be at Kinsale 
with an armed vessel, and was persuaded by his countryman 
Henry Davells, one of the Commissioners of Munster, to come 
round and seize the remaining Spanish ships. Courtenay seems 
not to have been in the Queen's service ; like so many other 
men of Devon, he was probably half-pirate and half-patriot. 
To cut out the undefended vessels from their anchorage was 

1 James Fitzmaurice to Alexander, Ustun, and Randal MacDonnell, 
July, 1579 ; these letters, with translation, were printed by O'Donovan in 
Irish (Kilkenny) Archccological Journal, N.S. ii. 362 ; Strype's Parker, lib. 
iv. cap. 15, and the appendix ; Sanders to Ulick Burke in Carew, Oct. 27, 
1579. In Cardinal Allen's Memorials is a letter dated April 5, 1579, in which 
Allen calls Sanders his ' special friend.' 

c 2 



Murder of 

an easy and congenial task, and thus, to quote another 
Devonian, ' James Fitzmaurice and his company lost a piece 
of the Pope's blessing, for they were altogether destituted of 
any ship to ease and relieve themselves by the seas, what 
need soever should happen.' The O'Flaherties sailed away 
with the two bishops on Courtenay's arrival, but Maltby 
afterwards found their lair upon the shores of Clew Bay. 
One was promptly hanged by martial law ; a second, who 
had property to confiscate, was reserved for the sessions, and 
a third was killed for resisting his captors; the rest were 
to be hanged when caught. Fitzmaurice had with him at 
Smerwick but twenty-five Spaniards, six Frenchmen, and six 
Englishmen, besides twenty-seven English prisoners whom 
he forced to work at the entrenchments. Provisions were 
scarce, and the whole enterprise might have collapsed had it 
not been for a crime which committed the Desmonds irre- 
trievably. 1 

On hearing of the landing in Kerry Drury had despatched 
a trusty messenger to confirm the Earl and his brother in 
their allegiance. The person selected was Henry Davells, 
a Devonshire gentleman who had served Henry VIII. in 
France, had afterwards seen fighting in Scotland, and had 
long lived in Carlow and Wexford, where he was well 
known and much respected. His countryman Hooker, who 
knew him, says he was not only the friend of every English- 
man in Ireland, but also much esteemed by the Irish for his 
hospitality and- true dealing. ' If any of them had spoken 
the word, which was assuredly looked to be performed, they 
would say Davells hath said it, as who saith " it shall be per- 
formed." For the nature of the Irishman is, that albeit he 
keepeth faith, for the most part, with nobody, yet will he have 
no man to break with him.' The same writer assures us 
that the mere fact of being Davells' man would secure any 
Englishman a free passage and hospitable reception throughout 
Munster and Leinster. He was equally valued by Desmond 

1 Fitzmaurice to Desmond and Kildare, July 18, 1579 ; Waterhouse to 
Walsingham, July 24 ; notes of Mr. Herbert's speech, Aug. 3 ; Maltby 's dis- 
course April 8, 1580 ; Hooker in Holinslwd. 


and Ormonde, an intimate friend of Sir Edmund Butler, ^HAP. 

and on such terms with Sir John of Desmond, whose gossip -, 

he h was and whom he had several times redeemed out of 
prison, that the latter used to call him father. Da veils now 
went straight to Kerry, saw the Earl and his brothers, whom 
he exhorted to stand firm, and visited Smerwick, which he 
found in no condition to withstand a resolute attack. Re- 
turning to the Desmonds he begged for a company of gallow- 
glasses and sixty musketeers, with whom and with the aid of 
Captain Courtenay, he undertook to master the unfinished 
fort. Desmond refused, saying that his musketeers were 
more fitted to shoot at fowls than at a strong place, and that 
gallowglasses were good against gallowglasses, but no match 
for old soldiers. English officers afterwards reported that 
sixty resolute men might have taken Smerwick, and were 
thus confirmed in their belief that Desmond had intended 
rebellion from the first, and that Fitzmaurice, whose ability 
was undeniable, would not have taken up such a weak 
position without being sure of the Earl's co-operation. But 
religious zeal might account for that. 

Davells, who was accompanied by Arthur Carter, Provost- 
^larshal of Munster, and a few men, started on his return jour- 
ney, prepared no doubt to tell Drury that nothing was to be 
expected of the Desmonds. John of Desmond, accompanied by 
his brother James and a strong party, followed to Tralee, sur- 
rounded the tavern where the English officers lay, and bribed 
the porter to open the door. Davells and Carter were so 
unsuspicious that they had gone to bed, and allowed their 
servant to lodge in the town. When Davells saw Sir John 
entering his room with a drawn sword he called out, ' What, 
son ! what is the matter ? ' ' No more son, nor no more 
father,' said the other, ' but make thyself ready, for die thou 
shalt.' A faithful page cast himself upon his master's body ; 
but he was thrust aside and Sir John himself despatched 

Carter was also killed, and so were the servants. In a 
curious print the two Englishmen are represented as sleeping 
iu the same bed. Sir John holds back the servant with his 



rice and 
John of 

left hand and transfixes Davells with the right, while Sir 
James goes round, with a sword drawn, to Carter's side. Out- 
side stand several squads of the Desmond gallowglasses, and 
armed men are killing Davells' followers, while Sanders appears 
in two places, carrying the consecrated papal banner, hounding 
on the murderers, and congratulating the brothers on their 
prowess. According to all the English accounts Sanders 
commended the murder as a sweet sacrifice in the sight of 
God, and two Irish Catholic historians mention it. But 
Fitzmaurice was a soldier, and disapproved of killing men in 
their beds. There is no positive evidence as to Desmond. 
Geraldine partisans say he abhorred the deed, but he never 
punished anyone for it, and Sir James was said to have 
pleaded that he was merely the Earl's ' executioner.' 
Desmond accepted a silver-gilt basin and ewer, and a gold 
chain only a few days after the murder. 1 

' Landed gentlemen,' says Sidney Smith, ' have molar 
teeth, and are destitute of the carnivorous and incisive jaws 
of political adventurers.' The Munster proprietors held 
aloof with the Earl of Desmond, ' letting " I dare not " wait 
upon " I would," ' while the landless men followed his bolder 
and more unscrupulous brother. When Fitzmaurice dis- 
embarked, Desmond had 1,200 men with him; shortly after 
the murder of Davells he had less than 60 ; but Sir John was 
soon at the head of a large force. The activity of Maltby 
-' not only prevented any rising in Connaught, but also made 
it impossible for Scots to enter Munster. He lay at Limerick 
waiting till Drury was ready, and when the latter, who was 
ill, came to Limerick at the risk of his life, it was Maltby who 

1 Hooker and Camden for the English view of Desmond's conduct ; 
Russell and O'Daly for the other side, and also O'Sullivan, ii. iv. 15. The 
picture is reproduced in the Irish (Kilkenny) ArcJKBologicalJournal,^idi S. 
i. 483. In his 27th chapter Mr. Froude quotes Mendoza to the effect that 
Davells was Desmond's guest ; but Hooker says distinctly that he ' lodged 
in one Rice's house, who kept a victualling-house and wine tavern.' In a 
letter of Oct. 10, 1579, Desmond says his brother James was ' enticed into 
the detestable act.' E. Fenton to Walsingham, July 11, 1580 ; Lord Justice 
and Earl of Kildare to the Privy Council, Aug. 3, 1579. Examination of 
Friar James O'Hea in Carew, Aug. 17, 1580. Collection of matters to Nov. 


entered the woods and drove the rebels from place to place. 
For a time Fitzmaurice and his cousin kept together, though 
it may be that the latter' s savagery was disagreeable to the 
man who had seen foreign courts, and who was evidently 
sincerely religious, though the English accused him of 
hypocrisy. According to Russell, who gives details which 
are wanting elsewhere, the two marched together unopposed 
into the county of Limerick, where one of Sir John's men 
outraged a camp-follower. Fitzmaurice ordered him for 
execution, but Sir John, ' little regarding the Pope's com- 
mission, and not respecting murder or rape,' refused to allow 
this, and Fitzmaurice, seeing that he could not maintain 
discipline, departed with a few horsemen and kernes, 
nominally on a pilgrimage to Holy Cross Abbey, really 
perhaps to enter Connaught through Tipperary and Limerick, 
and thus get into Maltby's rear. In doing so he had to pass 
through the territory of a sept of Burkes, of whom some had 
been with him in his former enterprise. Fitzmaurice was in 
want of draught animals, and took two horses out of the 
plough. The poor peasants raised an alarm, and at a ford 
some miles south of Castle Connell the chief's son Theobald, 
who was learned in the English language and law, and who 
may have had Protestant leanings, appeared with a strong 
party. He was already on the look-out, and had summoned 
MacBrien to his aid. 

Fitzmaurice urged Burke to join the Catholic enterprise ; Death of 
he answered that he would be loyal to the Queen, and a fight 
followed. Burke had but two musketeers with him, one of 
whom aimed at Fitzmaurice, who was easily known by his 
yellow doublet. The ball penetrated his chest, and feeling 
himself mortally wounded, he made a desperate dash forward, 
killed Theobald Burke and one of his brothers, and then fell, 
with or without a second wound. ' He found,' says Hooker 

) v 

characteristically, ' that the Pope's blessings and warrants, 
his agnus Dei and his grains, had not those virtues to save 
him as an Irish staff, or a bullet, had to kill him.' The 
Burkes returned after the death of their leader, and, having 
confessed to Dr. Allen, the best of the Geraldines breathed 


CHAP, his last. Lest the knowledge of his death should prove fatal 
^ '" to his cause, a kinsman cut off Fitzmaurice's head and left 

the bare trunk under an oak an evidence of haste which 
shows that there was no great victory to boast of. The body 
was nevertheless recognised, carried to Kilmallock, and 
hanged on a gibbet ; and the soldiers barbarously amused 
themselves by shooting at their dead enemy. ' Well,' says 
Russell, 'there was no remedy God's will must be done, 
punishing the sins of the father in the death of the son. 
Fitzmaurice made a goodly end of his life (only that he bore 
arms against his sovereign princess, the Queen of England). 
His death was the beginning of the decay of the honourable 
house of Desmond, out of which never issued so brave a man 
in all perfection, both for qualities of the mind and body, 
besides the league between him and others for the defence of 
religion.' l 

1 Irish ArcluBological Journal, 3rd S. i. 384 ; Four Masters ; Camden ; 
Hooker ; O'Sullivan, ii. iv. 94. Waterhouse to Walsingham, Aug. 3 and 9, 
1579. Fitzmaurice fell shortly before Aug. 20. O'Sullivan calls the place 
Seal Antha an Bhorin, which may be Harrington's bridge or Boher. This 
writer, who loves the marvellous, says a Geraldine named Gibbon Duff, was 
tended among the bushes by a friendly leech, who bound up his eighteen 
wounds. A wolf came out of the wood and devoured the dirty bandages, 
but without touching the helpless man. The Four Masters, who wrote 
under Charles I., praise Theobald Burke and regret his death. 



London. , Zonffman.9 & Co 




SIR John of Desmond at once assumed the vacant command, 
and Drury warned the English Government that he was no 
contemptible enemy, though he had not Fitzmaurice's power Vacillating 
of exciting religious enthusiasm, and had yet to show that he England, 
had like skill in protracting a war. The Munster Lords were 
generally unsound, the means were wanting to withstand any 
fresh supply of foreigners, and there could be no safety till 
every spark of rebellion was extinguished. The changes of 
purpose at Court were indeed more than usually frequent and 
capricious. English statesmen, who were well informed about 
foreign intrigues, were always inclined to despise the diver- 
sion which Pope or Spaniard might attempt in Ireland ; and 
the Netherlands were very expensive. Moreover, the Queen 
was amusing herself with Monsieur Simier. Walsingham, 
however, got leave to send some soldiers to Ireland, and pro- 
visions were ordered to be collected at Bristol and Barnstaple. 
Then came the news that Fitzmaurice had not above 200 or 
300 men, and the shipping of stores was countermanded. On 
the arrival of letters from Ireland, the danger was seen to be 
greater, and Walsingham was constrained to acknowledge 
that foreign potentates were concerned, 'notwithstanding 
our entertainment of marriage.' One thousand men were 
ordered to be instantly raised in Wales, 300 to be got ready 
at Berwick, extraordinary posts were laid to Holyhead, Tavis- 
tock, and Bristol. Money and provisions were promised. 
Sir John Perrott received a commission, as admiral, to cruise 
off Ireland with five ships and 1,950 men, and to go against 
the Scilly pirates when he had nothing better to do. Then 




The Mun- 

W1 ' h ' he 

Fitzmaurice's death was announced, and again the spirit of 
parsimony prevailed. The soldiers, who were actually on 
board, were ordered to disembark. These poor wretches, the 
paupers and vagrants of Somersetshire, and as such selected 
by the justices, had been more than a fortnight at Bristol, 
living on bare rations at sixpence a day, and Wallop with 
great difficulty procured an allowance of a halfpenny a mile 
to get them home. The troops despatched from Barnstaple 
were intercepted at Ilfracombe, and all the provisions collected 
were ordered to be dispersed. Then again the mood changed, 
and the Devonshire men were allowed to go. 1 

The Earl of Kildare, who was probably anxious to avoid 
^ res ^ suspicion, gave active help to the Irish government, 
' making,' as Waterhouse testified, 'no shew to pity names or 
kindred.' He exerted his influence with the gentry of the 
Pale to provide for victualling the army, and he accompanied 
the Lord Justice in person on his journey to Munster. The 
Queen wrote him a special letter of thanks, and Drury de- 
clared that he found him constant and resolute to spend his 
life in the quarrel. The means at the Lord Justice's disposal 
were scanty enough : 400 foot, of which some were in 
garrison, and 200 horse. He himself was extremely ill, but 
struggled on from Limerick to Cork, and from Cork to 
Killtnallock, finding little help and much sullen opposi- 
tion ; but the arrival of Perrott, with four ships, at Baltimore 
seemed security enough against foreign reinforcements to the 
rebels, and Maltby prevented John of Desmond from com- 
municating with Connaught. Sanders contrived to send 
letters, but one received by Ulick Burke was forwarded, after 
some delay, to the government, and Desmond still wavered, 
though the Doctor tried to persuade him that Fitzmaurice's 
death was a provision of God for his fame. ' That devilish 
traitor Sanders,' wrote Chancellor Gerrard, ' I hear by exa- 
mination of some persons who were in the forts with him and 

1 Drury to Walsingham, Aug. 23, 1579 ; Walsingham's letters of Aug. 5, 
6, and 7 ; E. Tremayne to Burghley, Aug. 5 ; Proportions of victual, &c. Aug. 
2 1 ; Wallop to Walsingham, Aug. 27, and Sept. 3, 4, and 14 ; Instructions t o 
Sir John Perrott, Aug. 19. 



heard his four or five masses a day that he persuaded all 
men that it is lawful to kill any English Protestants, and 
that he hath authority to warrant all such from the Pope, and 
absolution to all who can so draw blood ; and how deeply this 
is rooted in the traitors' hearts may appear by John of Des- 
mond's cruelty, hanging poor men of Chester, the best pilots 
in these parts, taken by James, and in hold with John, whom he 
so executed maintenant upon the understanding of James his 
death.' No one, for love or money, would arrest Sanders, and 
Drury could only hope that the soldiers might take him by 
chance, or that 'some false brother' might betray him. 
Desmond came to the camp at Kilmallock, but would not, or 
could not, do any service. Drury had him arrested on sus- 
picion, and, according to English accounts, he made great 
professions of loyalty before he was liberated. The Irish 
annalists say his professions were voluntary, that he was 
promised immunity for his territory in return, and that the 
bargain was broken by the English. Between the two ver- 
sions it is impossible to decide. The Earl did accompany 
Drury on an expedition intended to drive John of Desmond 
out of the great wood on the borders of Cork and Limerick. 
At the place now called Springfield, the English were worsted 
in a chance encounter, their Connaught allies running away 
rather than fight against the Geraldines. In this inglorious 
fray fell two tried old captains and a lieutenant, who had 
fought in the Netherlands, and the total loss was considerable. 
Drury's health broke down after this, and instead of scouring 
Aherlow Woods the stout old soldier was carried in a litter to 
his deathbed at Waterford. As he passed through Tipperary, 
Lady Desmond came to him and gave up her only son as a 
hostage an unfortunate child who was destined to be the 
victim of state policy. 

Sir William Pelham, another Suffolk man, had just arrived 
in Dublin, and was busy organising the defence of the Pale 
against possible inroads by the O'Neills. He was at once 
chosen Lord Justice of the Council, and the Queen confirmed 
their choice. 

Drury was an able and honest, though severe governor, 

Death of 
who is sue 
ceeded Ly 
Sir Wil- 
liam Pel- 





still hesi- 

Maltby de- 
feats the 

and deserves well of posterity for taking steps to preserve the 
records in Birmingham Tower. Sanders gave out that his 
death was a judgment for fighting against the Pope, forgetting 
that Protestants might use like reasoning about Fitzmaurice. 1 

Maltby was temporary Governor of Munster by virtue of 
Drury's commission, and had about 150 horse and 900 foot, 
the latter consisting, in great measure, of recruits from 
Devonshire. He summoned Desmond to meet him at 
Limerick, and sent him a proclamation to publish against 
the rebels. The Earl would not come, and desired that 
freeholders and others attending him might be excepted 
from the proclamation. Maltby, who had won a battle in 
the meantime, then required him to give up Sanders, ' that 
papistical arrogant traitor, that deceiveth the people with 
false lies,' or to lodge him so that he might be surprised.' 
Upon this the Earl merely marvelled that Maltby should spoil 
his poor tenants. ' I wish to your lordship as well as you 
wish to me,' was the Englishman's retort, ' and for my being 
here, if it please your Lordship to come to me you shall 
know the cause.' It did not please him, and the governor 
made no further attempt at conciliation. 2 

The encounter which gave Maltby such confidence in 
negotiation took place on October 3 at Monasternenagh, an 
ancient Cistercian abbey on the Maigue. The ground was 
flat, and Sir William Stanley, the future traitor of Deventer, 
said the rebels came on as resolutely as the best soldiers in 
Europe. Sir John and Sir James of Desmond had over 
2,000 men, of which 1,200 were choice gallowglasses, and 
Maltby had about 1,000. Desmond visited his brothers in 
the early morning, gave them his blessing, and then with- 
drew to Askeaton, leaving his men behind. 

' He is now,' said Maltby, ' so far in, that if her Majesty 

1 Lord Justice and Earl of Kildare to the Privy Council, Aug. 3, 1579 ; 
Waterhouse to Walsingham, Aug. 22 ; Gerard to Walsingham, Wilson, and 
Burghley, Sept. 10, 15, and 16; Drury to Walsingham, Sept. 14 and 17 ; 
Wallop to Burghley, Sept. 20. Drury died Sept. 30, and what Sanders said 
about him is in a letter of Feb. 21, 1580, printed in Strype's Parker, appen- 
dix 77. 

* Maltby to Walsingham, Oct. 12, 1579, with enclosures. 


will take advantage of his doings his forfeited living will coun- CHAP. 

tervail her Highness's charges ; and Stanley remarked that the , '- 

Queen might make instead of losing money by the rebellion. 
After a sharp fight, the Geraldines were worsted, and the 
Sheehy gallowglasses, which were Desmond's chief strength, 
lost very heavily. The two brothers escaped by the speed 
of their horses and bore off the consecrated banner, ' which I 
believe,' said Maltby, 'was anew scratched about the face, 
for they carried it through the woods and thorns in post 
haste.' Sanders, if he was present, escaped, but his fellow- 
Jesuit, Allen, was killed. In a highly rhetorical passage 
Hooker describes this enthusiast's proceedings, and likens 
his fall to that of the prophets of Baal. Maltby's com- 
mission died with Drury, and he stood on the defensive as 
soon as he heard of the event. 1 

Ormonde had been about three years in England, looking Desmond 
after his own interests, and binding himself more closely to monde. 
the party of whom Sussex was the head. Disturbance in 
Munster of course demanded his presence, and he prepared 
to start soon after the landing of James Fitzmaurice. ' I 
pray you,' he wrote to Walsingham, ' do more in this my cause 
than you do for yourself, or else the world will go hard.' 

In thanking the Secretary for his good offices he said, 
' I am ready to serve the Queen with my wonted good-will. 
I hope she will not forget my honour in place of service, 
though she be careless of my commodity.' A month later he 
was in Ireland, and after spending some days at Kilkenny, 
was present at the delivery of the sword to Pelham, whom he 
prepared to accompany to the south. He had the Queen's 
commission as general in Munster, and Kildare was left to 
guard the Ulster border. Little knowing the man he had 
to deal with, Desmond wrote to bid him weigh his cause 
as his own. 'Maltby,' he said, 'is a knave that hath no 

1 Maltby to Walsingham, Oct. 12, 1579, and to Leicester, April 8, l."80; 
The Jesuit Allen is not mentioned by the Four Masters, by O'Sullivan, by 
O'Daly, or by several other Irish authorities, but frequently by Hooker, 
who says he was Irish-born. Russell mentions him, but calls him an Eng- 
lish priest, and this seems probable. 


CHAP, authority, who has been always an enemy to mine house.' 

' , ' To some person at Court, perhaps to Sidney, he recounted 

his services. Before the landing of Fitzmaurice he had 
executed three scholars, of which one was known to be a 
bishop. He had at once given notice of the landing, had 
blockaded Smerwick, and had helped to drive off the 
O'Flaherties, so that the traitors had like to starve. After 
Fitzmaurice's death he had broken down the fort and had 
been ready to victual Drury's army, had not the latter pre- 
pared to support his men by spoiling the Desmond tenants. 
Finally, he had delivered his son, and would have done more, 
but that many of his men had deserted while he was under 
arrest. All along he had feared the fate of Davells for his 
wife and son, knowing that his brother John hated them 
mortally. Maltby had none the less treated him as an enemy, 
and had in particular 'most maliciously defaced the old monu- 
ment of my ancestors, fired both the abbey, the whole town, 
and all the corn thereabouts, and ceased not to shoot at my 
men within Askeaton Castle.' The letters which Ormonde 
received from Desmond for there seem to have been more 
than one were handed over to Pelham, who directed the 
writer to meet him between Cashel and Limerick, or at least 
at the latter place. He was to lose no time, for the Lord 
Justice was determined not to lie idle. Desmond did not 
come, but he had an interview with Ormonde for the dis- 
cussion of certain articles dictated by Pelham. The principal 
were that Desmond should surrender Sanders and other 
strangers, give up Carrigafoyle or Askeaton, repair to the 
Lord Justice, and prosecute his rebellious brother to the 
uttermost. The penalty for refusing these terms was that 
Desmond is ne should be proclaimed traitor. After conferring with 
forced to Ormonde, he wrote to say that he had been arrested when 

say ' yes 'or J 

'no.'" he went to the late Lord Justice. He refused to give up 

.Askeaton, perhaps thinking it impregnable, but was ready to 
do his best against Sanders and his unnatural brethren if his 
other castles were restored to him. Pelham answered that 
the proclamation was ready and should be published in three 
days, unless Desmond came sooner to his senses. Still 


protesting his loyalty, he refused to make any further con- CHAP. 

cession. A last chance was given him ; if he would repair , -^ 

to Pelham's presence by eight next morning he should have 
licence to go to England. No answer was returned, and the 
proclamation was published as Pelham had promised. By a 
singular coincidence, and as if to presage the ruin of the 
house of Desmond, a great piece of the wall of Youghal fell 
of itself upon the same day. The die was cast, and the fate 
of the Geraldine power was sealed. 1 

The proclamation asserted that Desmond had practised Desmond is 
with foreign princes, that he had suffered Fitzmaurice and traitor, 
his Spaniards to lurk in his country, and that he had been 
privy to the murder of Davells and others. He was accused 
of feigning loyalty and of purposely allowing the garrison to 
escape from their untenable post at Smerwick. It was said 
that he had gone from the Lord Justice into Kerry against 
express orders, had seen that the strangers were well treated 
being, in fact, in his pay and had even placed some of 
them in charge of castles. He had joined himself openly 
with the proclaimed traitors his brothers, and with Dr. 
Sanders, that odious, unnatural, and pestiferous traitor ; and 
quite lately his household servants had been engaged with 
the Queen's troops at Rathkeale. Perhaps the strongest piece 
of evidence was a paper found in a portmanteau belonging to 
Dr. Allen, ' one of the traitors lately slain,' which showed 
how the artillery found at Smerwick had been distributed 
by Desmond among the rebels. To detach waverers it was 
announced that all who appeared unconditionally before the 
Lord Justice or the Earl of Ormonde should be received as 
liege subjects. Besides Pelham, Waterhouse, Maltby, and 
Patrick Dobbyn, Mayor of Waterford, the subscribers to the 
proclamation were all Butlers ; Ormonde and his three 
brothers, Lords Mountgarret and Dunboyne, and Sir Theobald 
Butler of Cahir. Some of these had been rebels, but all 
were now united to overwhelm the Geraldines and possibly to 

1 Ormonde to Walsingham, July 27 and August 10, 1579 ; Desmond to 
Ormonde and also to some powerful person at court Oct. 10 ; and the letters 
in Caren- from Oct. 17 to Nov. 1. 



of the Go- 

The Queen 

win their lands. ' There was,' said Waterhouse, ' great 
practice that the Earl of Ormonde should have dealt for a 
pacification, but when it came to the touch he dealt soundly 
and will, I think, follow the prosecution with as much 
earnestness as any to whom it might have been committed.' 
He was, in fact, enough of an Irishman to wish that even 
Desmond might have a last chance ; but when it came to 
choosing between loyalty and rebellion his choice was as 
quickly made as his father's had been when he resisted the 
blandishments of Silken Thomas. 1 

Finding himself in no condition to attack so strong a 
place as Askeaton, Pelham returned to Dublin, and Ormonde 
went to Waterford to prepare for a western campaign. He 
wrote to tell Walsingham of his vast expenses. His own 
company of 100 men was so well horsed and armed that 
none could gainsay it ; but the ships were unvictualled, 
and Youghal and Kinsale were doubtfully loyal. ' I have the 
name of 800 footmen left in all my charge, and they be not 
600 able men, as Mr. Fenton can tell, for I caused my Lord 
Justice to take view of them. They be sickly, unapparelled, 
and almost utterly unvictualled. There are 150 horsemen 
with me that be not 100 .... My allowance is such as I 
am ashamed to write of .... I long to be in service among 
the traitors, who hope for foreign power.' But the Queen 
was very loth to spend money, and very angry at the imperfect 
intelligence from Ireland. The number of Spaniards who 
landed was never known. There were certainly more in the 
country than Fitzmaurice had at Smerwick ; and the number 
of harbours between Kinsale and Tralee was most convenient 
for contraband cargoes. Her Majesty also grumbled about 
Pelham's new knights, lest they should be emboldened to 
'crave support to maintain their degree.' There were but 
two, Gerrard the Chancellor, and Vice-Treasurer Fitton ;' both 
had served long and well, and it was customary for every new 
governor to confer some honours. Peremptory orders were 
sent that the pension list should be cut down, and the Queen 

1 Waterhouse to Walsingham, Nov. 4, 1579. 
Carem, under Nov. 2. 

The proclamation is in 


even talked of reducing the scanty garrison. She was CHAP. 

offended at the proclamation of Desmond, as she had been , 

five years before, and found fault with everything and every- 
body. Pelham said the proclamation was an absolute 
necessity, since no person of any consideration in Munster 
would stir a finger until ' assured by this public act that your 
Majesty will deal thoroughly for his extirpation.' Before the 
proclamation, at the time of the fight with Maltby, Desmond 
had guarded the Pope's ensign with all his own servants, and 
' in all his skirmishes and outrages since the proclamation : 
crieth Papa Aboo, which is the Pope above, even above you 
and your imperial crown.' In despair the Lord Justice begged 
to be recalled, but Ormonde, who knew Elizabeth's humour, 
made up his mind to do what he could with small means. 
At this juncture, and as if to show that he had not been 
proclaimed for nothing, Desmond committed an outrage which 
for ever deprived him of all hope of pardon. 1 

The town of Youghal, which had always been under the Desmond 
influence of his family, was at this time fervently Catholic. Youghal. 
The Jesuits kept a school there, and the townsmen had been 
' daily instructed in Christian doctrine, in the celebration of 
the Sacrament, and in good morals, as far as the time per- 
mitted, but not without hindrance.' The corporation were 
uneasy, and sent two messengers, of which one was a priest, 
to fetch powder from Cork. Sir Warham St. Leger, who had 
been acting as Provost Marshal of Munster since Carter's 
death, gave the powder or sent it, and offered to send one of 
Sir Humphrey Gilbert's well-armed ships to protect the town, 
which the fallen wall laid open to attack. But the corporation 
refused to incur the expense of supporting Gilbert's sailors 
or Ormonde's soldiers, and made little or no preparation for 
their own defence. On Friday, November 13, Desmond, 
accompanied by the Seneschal of Imokilly, encamped on the 
south side of Youghal, near the Franciscan priory, which his 
own ancestors had founded. He gave out that his intentions 

1 Ormonde to Walsingham, Nov. 7, 1579 ; Wa'singham to Waterhouse, 
Nov. 8 ; Pelhain to Wilson, Nov. 28 ; to the Queen, Dec. 15 and 28 ; and 
many other letters in Carcw. 




CHAP were harmless, and that he had come only to send messengers 
1-, ' to Ormonde, who could prove that he had been wrongfully 

proclaimed traitor. Meanwhile, he demanded wine for his 
men, and the mayor, who was either a fool or a traitor, let 
him take the ferry-boat, which was the only means by which 
the town might be relieved from the Waterford side. The 
Geraldines were to take two tuns of wine, and then depart ; 
but during Saturday and Sunday morning they had frequent 
conversations with their friends on the walls. The result 
was that they mustered with evidently hostile intentions, and 
that the mayor ordered the gunners in the round tower, 
which commanded the landing-place, not to fire first, although 
they had a ' saker charged with a round shot, a square shot, 
and a handspike of an ell long, wherewith they were like to 
have spoiled many of them. One elderly man of the town 
commanded not to shoot off lest the rebels would be angry 
therewith, and threatened to kill the gunner if he would give 
fire.' Other sympathisers had already carried out ladders 
and hung ropes over the walls. With such help the rebels 
easily entered the breach, and in an hour all was over. Wives 
and maidens were ravished, and the town was ruthlessly 
sacked. Many of the inhabitants helped the work, 'not- 
withstanding that they saw the ravishing of their women, 
the spoiling of their goods and burning of their houses, and 
that (which is most detestable treason), notwithstanding that 
they saw the Earl and Sir John, the Seneschal of Imokilly, 
and divers others draw down in the court-house of the town 
her Majesty's arms, and most despitefully with their daggers 
to cut it and thrust it through.' ' This they did,' Ormonde 
added, 'as an argument of their cankered and alienated 
hearts.' The plunder was considerable, and the Four Masters 
sympathetically record that many a poor indigent person 
became rich and affluent by the spoils of this town. Some 
of Lord Barry's men were present, and most of the plunder 
was carried into his country and sold there. As one of 
Desmond's followers filled his pouch with gold and silver 
from a broken chest, he said to his master that the thing 
was very pleasant if not a dream. Dermot O'Sullivan, the 

Sack of 


historian's father, stood by and warned the Earl that the CHAP. 

sweetest dreams might be but a mockery. The houses and , ' 

gates were burned, and when Ormonde came a few weeks 
later he found the ruins in sole possession of a friar, who was 
spared for his humanity in securing Christian burial to Henry 
Davells. The mayor was caught and hanged at his own 
door, and it is hard to say that he did not deserve it. 1 

A fortnight after the sack of Youghal, Ormonde was in Ormonde's 
the field, and thus describes the nature of his three weeks' ' 
campaign : ' I was in Connello the 6th of this month, be- 
tween Askeaton and Newcastle, two of the Earl's chief 
houses, and preyed, spoiled, and burned the country, even to 
the mountain of Slieve Logher, and returned to Adare with- 
out sight of the rebels. In the county of Cork I burned 
John of Desmond's town and castle called Lisfinnen, with all 
his land in Coshbride.' He then returned to Tipperary, and 
let his officers go to Dublin for a holiday. The soldiers had 
had bread only for one day out of four, and neither wine, 
beer, nor spirits. Beef and forage were scarce, and they had 
passed rivers, wading to the stomach, often seven times a day, 
and never less than three. They had to bivouack in the open, 
and camp-fires were hard to light in December. ' It is easier,' 
said Wallop, ' to talk at home of Irish wars than to be in 
them.' The garrisons had not a very pleasant time of it Thegarri- 
either. Sir George Bourchier was at Kilmallock with 200 sons> 
men whose pay was two months in arrear. He had but fifty 
pounds of powder, and was unable to join Ormonde, for the 
chief magistrate locked the gates, and the inhabitants de- 
clared that they would vacate the town if he deserted them. 
Desmond was expected daily, and the fate of Youghal was 

1 O'Sullivan Bere, ii. iv. 15; Pelham to Burghley, Nov. 28, 1579 ; Arthur 
and White to Maltby, Nov. 27 ; St. Leger to Ormonde, Dec. 1 ; Ormonde to 
Burghley, Dec. 27 ; Pelham to Burghley, Jan. 27, 1580. Abstract of exa- 
minations Jan. 4, 1580. Hooker says Desmond's horde took five days to 
collect the spoils, and that Ormonde sent an armed vessel which recovered 
some guns, but that her master was killed. See also the examination of 
Friar James O'Hea in Carew, Aug. 17, 1580, and the petition of Anyas, 
Burgomaster of Youghal, Sept. 9, 1583. Edmund Tanner, S.J., to the 
General of the Jesuits, Oct. 11, 1577, in Hibernia, Tgnatiana. 

D 2 


before their eyes. Sir William Stanley and George Carew 
had been left by Maltby at Adare. Between them and 
Askeaton lay Kerry, which Sanders, in the Pope's name, had 
granted to Sir James of Desmond. One morning early 
Stanley and Carew passed 120 of their men over the Maigue 
in one of the small boats, then and now called cots, which 
scarcely held ten at a time. After spoiling the country and 
putting to the sword whomsoever they thought good, they 
were attacked by Sir James, the knight of Glin, and the 
Spaniards who garrisoned Balliloghan Castle. Though the 
enemy were nearly four to one, Stanley and Carew managed 
to keep them in check till they reached the river, and then 
passed all their men over without loss, they themselves being 
the last to cross. It may be supposed, though Hooker does 
not say so, that they were in some measure covered by the 
guns of the castle. A little later Desmond tried to lure the 
garrison out by driving cattle under their walls, failing which 
' he sent a fair young harlot as a present to the constable, by 
whose means he hoped to get the house ; but the constable, 
learning from whence she came, threw her (as is reported to 
me), with a stone about her neck, into the river.' l 
Huir.ours The English Government urged Pelham to go to Munster 

abroad himself, and he waited for provisions at Waterford. Reports 
of the rebels' successes came to England constantly from 
Paris, for the war had become a religious one. By every 
ship sailing to France or Spain, ' Sanders,' said Burghley, 
' sent false libels of the strength of his partners, and of the 
weakness of the Queen's part.' He spread rumours through 
Ireland that a great fleet was coming from Spain and Italy, 
bringing infinite stores of wine, corn, rice, and oil from 
the Pope and King Philip. Munster was to be Desmond's ; 
Ulster Tirlogh Luineach's, and a nuncio was soon to come 
with full powers. It was reported that Desmond and Sanders 
distrusted each other, and that the latter was watched lest he 
should try to escape. His credit was probably restored by 

1 Pelham to the Irish Council, Jan. 26, 1580, in Carem. Ormonde to 
Burghley, Dec. 27, 1579 ; Wallop to Burghley, Dec. 29 ; Letters of Dec. 3, 
in Carem ; Hooker. 

THE DESMOND REBELLION, 1579-1580. 3^7 

the arrival of two Spanish frigates at Dingle. It had been CHAP. 

reported in Spain that both Desmond and Sanders were < 

killed, but after conferring with the doctor, and learning that 
the rebellion was not yet crushed, the strangers promised 
help before the end of May. Sanders pleaded hard for St. 
Patrick's day, lamenting that he had been made ' an instru- 
ment to promise to perfect Christians what should not be per- 
formed.' Still, through the spring and summer he confidently 
declared that help was coming, and in the meantime both he 
and Desmond were hunted like partridges upon the mountains. 
Pelhain begged the Queen to consider what her position would 
have been had a stronger force landed with James Fitzmaurice, 
and to harden her heart to spend the necessary money. 
Ormonde was still more outspoken, and we know from others 
that his complaints were well founded. ' I required,' he said, Ormonde's 
' to be victualled, that I might bestow the captains and soldiers 
under my leading in such places as I knew to be fitted for 
the service, and most among the rebels. I was answered 
there was none. I required the ordnance for batteries many 
times and could have none, nor cannot as yet, for my Lord 
Justice sayeth to me, it is not in the land. Money I required 
for the army to supply necessary wants, and could have but 
2 GO/., a bare proportion for to leave with an army. Now 
what any man can do with these wants I leave to your judg- 
ment. I hear the Queen mislikes that her service has gone 
no faster forward, but she suffereth all things needful to be 
supplied, to want. I would to God I could feed soldiers with / 
the air, and throw down castles with my breath, and furnish 
naked men with a wish, and if these things might be done 
the service should on as fast as her Highness would have it. 
This is the second time that I have been suffered to want all 
these things, having the like charge that now I have, but 
there shall not be a third ; for I protest I will sooner be com- 
mitted as a prisoner by the heels than to be thus dealt with 
again ; taking charge of service upon me. I am also behold- 
ing to some small friends that make (as I understand) the 
Queen mislike of me for the spoil of Youghal, who most 
traitorously have played the villains, as by their own examina- 




and Wal- 

the Queen. 

tion appeareth, an abstract of which I send to the Council, 
with letters written by the Earl of Desmond and his brethren 
to procure rebellion. There be here can write lies, as in 
writing Kilkenny was burned, before which, though it be a 
poor weak town, the rebels never came. They bragged they 
would spoil my country, but I hope if they do they will pay 
better for it than I did at the burning of theirs.' l 

Burghley and Walsingham strove hard to persuade the 
Queen that her economy would save nothing in the end, and 
Pelham's wise obedience in discharging some pensioners con- 
ciliated her a little. But he told the ministers that there had 
been no such peril in Ireland since the conquest, and Burghley 
agreed that the fire could only be quenched by English power. 
The conflagration would be great if not checked before the 
spring, for the Pope stood ever ready to supply Spanish 
coals, and the barbarous people ever willing to receive them. 
But even Burghley thought some one was to blame for pro- 
claiming Desmond before there were means to punish him. 
The Queen, he told Ormonde, had yielded at last ; ' money is 
sent, munition is in lading, and so is victualling for 2,000 
men for three months, and for men to serve it is certain there 
are more in charge of the Queen's pay than ever there were 
in Ireland those hundreds of years, and for anything we hear 
no open hostilities in any part of Ireland but these in Munster, 
so as now merely I must say Butleraboo, against all that cry 
as I hear in a new language Papeaboo. God send you only 
your heart's desire, which I know is agreeable to mine, to 
banish or vanquish those cankered Desmonds and their 
sequels, and to plant again the Queen's Majesty's honour and 
reputation. ... I and others have persuaded her Majesty 
that you may have authority to reclaim by offer of pardon all 
such as have offended, saving the Earl and his brothers, and 
such as murdered Davells, and such as have come from 
foreign parts to stir up the rebellion, among which I mean 

1 Ormonde to Walsingham, Jan. 4, 1580 ; Burghley to Ormonde, Jan. 
26 ; Pelham to Wallop, Feb. 9 ; to the Privy Council, Feb. 28 ; to Walsing- 
ham, May 20 ; Lord Justice and Council to the Privy Council, Jan. 29 : 
the four last in Carcw. 


Sanders, that viper, whom of all others the Queen's Majesty CHAP. 
is most desirous that you could take hold of. 1 , - 

Ormonde sent Zouch and Stanley to garrison Youghal, Miseries of 
who lost two or three men in passing the Blackwater at v ice. 
Lismore. The Spaniards set fire to Strancally Castle, where 
some of the plunder had been stored, and ran out at the first 
sound of the English drums. Some were shot or drowned, 
and the remainder crossed over to Decies in boats, ' where 
they were very friendly welcomed in sight of the soldiers.' 
Sir James Fitzgerald of Dromana was loyal, but his followers 
preferred Desmond. 

Stanley and Zouch went on to Youghal, driving before 
them 140 cows and 300 sheep, with which they fed their men. 
The poor soldiers suffered dreadfully from rain and cold, for 
they were penniless, and unroofed houses gave but scant 
shelter. For horses there was no food. Nor was this misery 
peculiar to Munster, since Athlone required repair to the 
extent of 500Z., Maryborough and Philipstown did not keep 
their defenders dry, and the wall in each case was ready to 
fall into the ditch. Leighlin and Dungarvan were almost 
untenable. Dublin Castle was much dilapidated, and the 
timber of Kilmallock was rotting. English artificers must 
be brought over to repair damages, ' for lack of skill and 
desire to gain by the work had been the ruin of all.' On the 
other hand there were signs of wavering among the rebels. 
A ship with 400 soldiers from the Pope was driven ashore at 
Corunna, and four-fifths of the men perished. Sanders was 
suspected of wishing to steal away, and Desmond had him 
carefully watched. 2 

At this juncture one French and one Spanish vessel Foreign , 
arrived in Dingle Bay with letters for Desmond and earnest tiusers. 
inquiries for Dr. Sanders. They were well received by the 
country people, and the bearers of the letters were conducted 
to Castle Island, where they found the men they sought. 
The foreigners said it had been reported at the French and 

1 Burghley to Pelham, Dec. 30, 1579 ; and to Ormonde, Jan. 26, 1580. 

2 Pelham to Burghley, Feb. 4, 1580 ; Waterhouse to Walsingham, Feb. 
3 ; G. Fenton to Burghley, Feb. 18 ; Lord Justice and Council to the Privy 
Council, Jan. 29, in Carew. 


CHAP. Spanish Courts that no Geraldine was left alive. Sanders 
- 1, '' ' railed and reviled them ' for not performing their promises 

to perfect Christians ; but they still maintained that 20,000 
were ready in Spain to sail with James Fitzmaurice's sons, 
and that France would also help as soon as the truth was 
known. One Owen O'Madden, a foster-brother of Desmond 
who was present, fell into Ormonde's hands, and reported 
that Desmond and Clancare had solemnly sworn to join their 
forces ; ' which oath was ministered by Dr. Sanders, having 
a mass-book under their feet and a cloth spread over their 
heads.' He believed that Lord Fitzmaurice would also join 
them. The confederacy would command a force of 600 
gallowglasses, 1,600 kerne, and 80 horse, with 200 mus- 
keteers. Sympathy with the Geraldines was universal among 
the common people, but men who had something to lose 
were in no great hurry to commit themselves. ' I suppose,' 
said Pelham, ' it is now considered that what foreign prince 
soever come, he will not allow to any freeholder more acres 
than he hath already, nor more free manner of life than they 
have under our Sovereign. And further I am told that some 
of the traitors themselves begin to consider that the invaders 
will put no great trust in those that do betray their natural 
prince and country.' l 

The nature Pelham left Waterford about the middle of February, 
warfare. having with great difficulty made such preparations as would 
give likelihood of a successful campaign. Unable to feed 
pack-horses he had his provisions carried by 300 strong 
countrymen, and he vigorously describes the pleasures of 
Irish warfare. ' Touching the comparison between the 
soldier of Berwick and the soldier of Ireland, alleging him 
of Berwick to serve in greater toil .... all the soldiers of 
Christendom must give place in that to the soldiers of 
Ireland; and so much difference for ease .... as is be- 
tween an alderman of London and a Berwick soldier.' And 
surely, said Captain Zouch, ' the wars here is most painful, 

1 Pelham to Wallop, Feb. 9, 1580 ; to the Privy Council, Feb. 10 and 
28 ; to the Queen and to Leicester, Feb. 16 ; Lord Roche to Ormonde, 
Feb. 11: all these in Carew. 


in respect that of force we make great and long journeys CHAP. 

without victual, by which means we have great sicknesses, and, - 

do what we can, we shall never fight with them unless they 
have a will to fight with us.' But a good spirit prevailed, 
and some companies stood so much on their reputation that 
they begged to be mustered, in order that their wants might 
be known and supplied. 

Ormonde joined the Lord Justice at Clonmel, where it Peihamand 

i-> i HI 3 Ormonde's 

was arranged that the Butlers should guard the eastern end campaign, 
of the Aherlow fastness. Pelham proposed to make all the 
country from Askeaton to Dingle ' as bare a country as ever 
Spaniard set his foot in.' At Limerick he spent more than 
a fortnight listening to reports of what was going on in Kerry 
and in Spain, and waiting for Wallop and Maltby. On March 
10, he met Ormonde at Rathkeale, and each assumed his own 
share in the work of destruction. The Earl took the Shannon 
side, the Lord Justice kept inland, spoiling the country far 
and wide, and meeting with no enemy. Near Shanet Castle, 
the original seat of the Desmonds, from which their war-cry 
was derived, the two camps were not far apart, and the 
country was scoured to the foot of the mountain in which the 
Feale and the Blackwater take their rise. According to the 
Four Masters, they killed ' blind and feeble men, women, 
boys and girls, sick persons, idiots, and old people.' Four j 
hundred were killed in the woods on the first day, and every- j 
thing that would burn was burned. The next camp was at 
Glin, where provisions had been collected, and thither came 
Lord Fitzmaurice, who thought it time to declare himself on 
the side of the strongest. Pelham and Ormonde then deter- 
mined to cross the mountain into Kerry, having heard that 
ships with stores had arrived at Dingle. Desmond had 
already gone that way, in the belief that the ships were 
Spanish. Passing the Feale a little above Listowel, the army state of 
marched unopposed to Tralee, and on the march Patrick erry ' 
Fitzmaurice, heir of the house of Lixnaw, followed his father's 
example. Everything between Castle Island and Tralee was 
already destroyed by the rebels, and Tralee itself was burned, 
with the exception of the abbey. Three hundred men, under 


S'ege of 

Sir William Stanley, were detached to Castlemaine, and 
Pelham and Ormonde started for Dingle, but were driven 
back by a furious snowstorm from the foot of the Corkaguiny 
mountains. In the meantime the ships had gone to the 
Shannon, and Pelham, having no means of feeding the men, 
was forced to withdraw Stanley's division from Castlemaine. 
Clancare had promised to come to Tralee, but excused himself 
on account of the floods. The same reason prevented Pelham 
from recrossing the mountains, and he lost men and horses 
in fording the Feale near its mouth. The ships had arrived 
at Carrigafoyle, and immediate preparations were made to 
besiege the castle, which was held by nineteen Spaniards and 
fifty natives. The commandant was Captain Julian, ' who 
reported himself to be a very notable engineer,' and who had 
undertaken the defence at Lady Desmond's request. 

While the guns were being landed, Pelham went forward 
to view the place, and had a narrow escape from a shot. 
' The villains of Spaniards, and the traitors,' said Ormonde, 
' railed like themselves at Her Majesty, especially the 
Spaniards, who had named the King of Spain King of 
Ireland, which, or it be long, God willing, they shall dearly 
pay for.' Julian probably trusted in the strength of the 
castle, which was eighty-six feet high, surrounded by water, 
and defended by several outworks. On the land side there 
were two separate ditches, divided by a wall, and a strong 
earthwork. Vessels of 100 tons could go up to the wall at 
high tide. The pieces used in the attack were three can- 
nons, one culver, and one culverin not a formidable battery 
according to modern ideas, but too much for the old castle, 
even with Julian's additional defences. The hyperbolical 
Four Masters say such guns had never yet been heard in 
those parts, and that their tremendous and terror-awakening 
roar penetrated every glen from Mizen Head to Tuam. A 
cannonade of six hours on two successive days was enough 
to make a practicable breach, both in the barbican and in 
the inner walls, which crushed many as they crumbled. The 
storming party soon mastered all but one turret, which stood 
farthest from the battery and was still intact. The fire was 


directed upon this point, and two or three shots dislodged the CHAP. 

A. .\ \ V il 

garrison, of whom, says Zouch, ' there escaped not one, - , ' 

neither man, woman, nor child.' Those who swam were shot rp a t e O f the 
in the water, others were put to the sword, and a few who k arrison - 
surrendered, including one woman, were hanged in the camp. 
Captain Julian was kept prisoner for two or three days and 1 
then hanged. The people began to curse Desmond for 
bringing all these misfortunes upon them. He answered that, 
if no help from Pope or Spaniard came before Whit Sunday, 
' he should seek a strange country and leave them to make 
their compositions.' The castles of Balliloghan and Askeaton 
were abandoned by their defenders when they saw the fate 
of Carrigafoyle. Those at Askeaton escaped across the water, 
having made an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the castle. 
Pelham occupied this last stronghold, and the war was turned 
into a hunt. 1 

Sanders and Desmond failed to rouse Connaught, which Maltby 
Maltby had retained after Drury's death. Richard Burke, naught, 
called Richard-in-Iron, husband of the redoubtable Grace 
O'Malley, alone ventured to take arms, in reliance upon the 
remoteness and natural strength of his country. He collected 
all the loose men of Connaught, and sent for 100 Scots bow- 
men from Ulster. But the Hebrideans were disinclined to 
join him, knowing that they would encounter English soldiers 
and a skilful leader. To prevent them from changing their 
minds, Maltby secured Sligo, through which they would have 
to pass. O'Connor Sligo, and O'Rourke proudest man in 
Ireland though he was agreed to Maltby 's terms, and kept 
their words as to excluding the Scots. He had two English 
companies, to which he added 100 native horse and 400 foot, 
who were to pay themselves in Richard-in-Iron's country, 
and to cost the Queen nothing. Burke, with 1,000 men, had 
spoiled the devoted district about Athenry and the northern, 
part of Roscommon, but he fell back to the shore of the 
Atlantic before Maltby could advance. When all was ready, 
he went from Athlone to Ballinasloe, where he hung six 

1 Pelham to the Queen and to Burghley, April 1, 1580 ; and to the 
Queen, April 5 ; Zouch to Walsingham, April 8. Hooker. 





iiijr and 

malefactors, and to Athenry, where he hung another. At 
Clare Galway he met John and Ulick Burke, full of complaints 
against each other, between whom he made a truce till he had 
leisure to hear them. He then marched by Shrule and Bal- 
lintubber to Clew Bay. The fate of a castle held by a priest, 
who was Richard-in-Iron's chief counsellor, is thus concisely 
described : 

' I put the band, both men, women, and children, to the 
sword, whereupon all the other castles in the country were 
given up without any resistance.' Grace O'Malley came to 
him with some of her kinsmen, but her husband took refuge 
with his forces in the islands in Clew Bay. Burrishoole 
Abbey, where Maltby encamped, was chosen by him as the 
site of a walled town, the people seeming very willing to 
have such a place among them, and Mac William Burke, who 
accompanied the governor of his own accord, offered land for 
its support. Richard-in-Iron, finding Maltby too strong for 
him, said he was ready to submit. Maltby sent for boats to 
Achill, but the weather was so bad that he could not reach 
the island for a week. In the meantime more than 100 of 
Richard's followers had died of starvation a little episode 
which shows what Irish warfare sometimes was. In the end 
Burke submitted to the garrison which Maltby left at Burris- 
hoole. The return journey to Athlone was accomplished in 
deep snow. The starved pigs and sheep with lambs came 
out of the woods into the camp, but they were killed and 
eaten. During the siege of Carrigafoyle, Maltby was in 
Scattery Island, and in frequent communication with Pelham, 
whom he joined at Limerick after the capture of Askeaton. 

Pelham's policy was to bridle the Desmond district with 
garrisons, who should be strong enough to eat up the country 
and to fatten themselves while the rebels starved. He 
hoped thus to localise the struggle in Kerry, which was too 
poor to maintain it unaided. The English fleet would look 
after the seaboard. The garrisons seem to have performed 
perfectly their rather inglorious duties. Captains Hollings- 

1 Discourse of Sir N. Maltby's proceedings, April 8, 1580, and his letter 
to Walsingham of that date. 


worth and George Oarew had 400 foot at Askeaton, but no CHAP. 

horse, the soil being already too bare to support them. The , '> 

soldiers drove in all the sheep and cows in their neighbourhood, 
and killed twenty-five of the miserable people who ventured 
to protect their own. Sir George Bourchier, who had two 
companies and a troop of horse at Kilmallock, scoured the 
woods in the Maigue district, and killed sixty rebels in a 
skirmish, making good his retreat and keeping his spoils. 
Captain Walker, who held Adare with 200 men, met Desmond 
himself on one of his forays. The Earl had about 600 followers, 
who stood well to their pikes for a time, but were ultimately 
worsted with great loss. Captain Dowdall occupied Cashel 
with 300 men. With the help of Lord Dunboyne, he pene- 
trated Aherlow wood, and brought off 300 cows and ponies. 
Pelham himself lay chiefly at Limerick, endeavouring to do 
his part by diplomacy, while Ormonde was securing his own 
district against Piers Grace and other marauders. 1 

The 10th of May was appointed by the Lord Justice for Gathering 
a general assembly of the Munster lords at Limerick. Ormonde rick?" 1 
duly appeared, bringing with him White, the Master of the 
Rolls, who had just returned from England, Lords Dun- 
boyne and Power, and Sir James Fitzgerald, of Decies. 
Lord Roche and his son Maurice, who had for a time been in 
rebellion, and Sir Thomas, of Desmond, came from Cork, and 
two days later they were followed by Lord Barry and by 
Sir Cormac MacTeigue. Thomond also attended. None of 
the western chiefs came, but Lord Fitzmaurice took the pre- 
caution of sending an excuse. 

Sir William Burke, whose son had lost his life in taking A new 
that of James Fitzmaurice, received his patent as Baron of I)etr ' 
Castle Connell, and was invested by Pelham. ' The poor old 
gentleman,' says White with a certain pathos, ' made many 
grateful speeches in his language, and afterwards, partly from 
joy at his own promotion, partly from some natural remem- 
brance of his child, and partly from the unwonted straitness 
of his new robes, fell suddenly in a swoon at the Lord 
Justice's table, so as he was like to have been made and 
1 Pelham to the Privy Council, April 11 and 16, 1580, in Carerc. 


CHAP, unmade all of a day.' Seeing no hopes of many more, Pelliam 
, ' conferred with those who were present. Lords Barry and 

Roche were sworn to forego their private quarrels and to join 
with Sir Cormac in prosecuting the rebels, under Ormonde's 
directions, and particularly in keeping them out of the county 
of Cork. A like arrangement was made for Waterford, and 
Ormonde was to encamp at or near Kilmallock. The delibera- 
tions at Limerick were concluded by a volley of three or four 
hundred shots. Pelham himself decided to visit Kerry. As 
the plot thickened round Desmond, Dr. Sanders redoubled his 
assurances that help was coming from Spain. Six thousand 
Italians were reported to be in the Asturias, ready to sail. 
The Lord Justice believed himself well able to deal with in- 
vaders; but want of provisions and arrears of pay in the 
Queen's army helped the rebels more effectually than any 
foreigners could do. 1 

More hares After many delays Pelham and Ormonde prepared to 
than people. en f; er Kerry together. The Earl lay for some time at Cashel, 
where he enjoyed the society of Sir Nicholas White. The 
Master of the Rolls complained, with an odd professional 
conceit, that he had to sleep in the Star Chamber that is, 
in the open air. Clancare's eldest son was also in the camp, 
and Ormonde declared that if the father wavered in his 
allegiance he would ' graft him to the highest tree in his 
country.' In the meantime they probably amused themselves 
with coursing, for White says her Majesty had many coun- 
tries forsaken of the people, but well stocked with hares. 
Pelham left Askeaton on June 11, joined the Adare garrison, 
and marched up the Maigue valley to Bruree. Edward 
Fenton, who had an eye for scenery rare in those days, was 
struck by the pleasantness of the scene. The neighbourhood 
was explored next day, but neither rebels nor cows were 
caught in any numbers, and the army crossed the hills which 
divide Limerick from Cork. Ormonde broke up his camp 
and joined the Lord Justice near Buttevant, where Lord 

1 Pelham to the Privy Council, May 20 ; James Golde to Leicester, May 
20 ; White, M.R., to Leicester, May 31, all in Carero. White to Burghley, 
May 31 ; Pelham to the Queen. May 18. 


Roche came to pay his respects, but offered very little help in CHAP, 
the way of provisions. Pelham noted this in silence, and ~_ _' 
led the whole army up the Blackwater, driving the MacCar- 
thies and O'Callaghans with their cattle into the vast woods. 
Then followed a toilsome and dangerous march through the 
hills to Castle Island, the Lord Justice riding in advance and 
taking up the ground himself. ' The island,' says White, An Earl's 
and the ruins attest it, ' is a huge, monstrous castle of many house> 
rooms, but very filthy and full of cowdung.' Desmond and 
Sanders had but just time to escape, and the Earl's store of 
whiskey, the Countess' ' kerchers,' and certain sacerdotal 
vestments, which Pelham calls masking furniture, fell into 
English hands. White secured the sanctus bell, a cruciform 
lectern, and the cover of a chalice. ' Never,' he says, ' was 
the bad Earl and his legate a latere so bested in his own 
privy chamber and county palatine of Kerry.' The bell and 
lectern went to his patron, Burghley, ' with remainder to 
Mrs. Blanche as toys.' The valley of the Maine was full of 
cattle, but the soldiers were too tired to do much. Some 
horsemen, who were fresher than the rest, managed to bring 
in 1,500 kine and 2,000 sheep. Desmond and his wife had Desmond, 
a narrow escape, being carried on men's shoulders through Pe i h A' 
the bogs. The best of the cattle were driven off into Clan- monde. 
maurice, but Lord Fitzmaurice and his son Patrick came into 
the camp. While Pelham was at Castlemaine, Ormonde 
searched the recesses of Glenflesk, where he found no cattle, 
but many of the Munster chieftains, Clancarties, O'Callaghan, 
MacAuliffe, O'Donoghue More, and MacGibbon. All offered 
their services, and he took them with him to Pelham at 
Castlemaine. Thus accompanied, the whole army marched 
to Dingle, having first erected a breastwork to protect the 
cattle which had been taken. 1 

At Dingle they found the squadron under Winter. Pel- Dingle 
ham dined on board the admiral, and afterwards went ruins. 

1 Sir N. White, M.K., to Bnrghley, Walsinghara, and Leicester, May 31, 
1580, the last in Carere ; Journal of Occurrences, July 2 ; Pelham to Wal- 
lop, June 21 ; Edw. Fenton to Walsingham, July 11 ; Ormonde to Walsing- 
ham, July 21 ; White, M. P.., to Walingham, July 22 ; Pelham to the Privy 
Council, July 9, in Caren\ 


The pea- 




round the fleet, the ' Swallow ' firing a royal salute when he 
went ashore. Over 8,000 pounds of biscuit and 10 tuns of 
beer were sent round to Castlemaine. Dingle was found 
razed to the ground by John of Desmond, though the 
merchants' houses had been ' very strong and built castle- 
wise.' The inhabitants Bonvilles, Hallys, Scurlocks, Knolts, 
Sleynys, Angelis, Goldings, Horgetts, Rices, and Trants 
hung about their ruined homes, cursing John of Desmond, 
the Knight of Kerry, and Dr. Sanders, as the root of all their 
calamities. The ' Merlin ' was sent to ransack the numerous 
harbours between Dingle and Cork, and Pelham and Winter 
scoured the country ; on one occasion amusing themselves 
by robbing an eagle's nest. The Lord Justice came by 
chance upon a deserted bakehouse belonging to the Knight 
of Kerry, and converted a barrel of meal into bread, from the 
want of which he had suffered much. After exploring both 
shores of Dingle Bay, even sending light vessels to the 
Blaskets, lest cattle should be harboured in those sea-beaten 
islands, Winter and Pelham returned to Castlemaine, and 
came suddenly upon a vast herd of cows, not less than 4,000 
or 5,000, which they drove into their entrenchments, and 
slaughtered for the use of the fleet. The starving people of 
the county besought Winter for God's sake to give them 
something to eat, and he left them twelve or thirteen cows, a 
few goats, and 400 sheep, the distribution being entrusted to 
one MacMorris, a steward of Desmond's, who had deserted, 
and from whom some service was expected. The works made 
for the protection of the prey were then razed, and the fleet 
sailed for Berehaven. 1 

Ormonde accompanied Pelham to Dingle and left him 
taking in provisions from the fleet, while he went to look for 
James of Desmond in O'Sullivan More's country. He had 
to pass round the bottom of Dingle Bay through Clancare's 
territory, and that Earl met him and acted as guide. The 
expedition was not expected, and 1,000 cows were taken ; but 
Ormonde's followers were closely pursued by O'Sullivan's sons. 

Chiefly from Journal of Occurrences, July 2. 


Many of the chiefs tenants sided with the strongest, and CHAP. 

with their help the cattle were brought away. Beef and , ' 

water formed the only sustenance of Ormonde's men, but they 
did not lag in their work of destruction, and the fires which 
they raised in Valentia were seen across the bay at Ventry. 
Pelham returned to Castlemaine, where Ormonde, ' sore broken 
in his feet with rocks,' joined him after a foray of five or six 
days. He brought with him Clancare, O'Sullivan Bere, and 
O'Sullivan More, ' Mac Fynyn of the kerne,' MacDonogh, 
O'Keefe, O'Callaghan, MacAuliffe, O'Donoghue More, and all 
the other chiefs of Desmond except O'Donoghue of Glenflesk, 
who remained with the traitor earl. The combined forces of 
Pelham and Ormonde encamped between Pallice and Dunloe 
by the lower lake of Killarney, ' the famous lake called Lough 
Leane.' Sir N. White notes forty islands, an abbey Innis- 
fallen in one, a parish church in another, in a third a castle, 
' out of which came to us a fair lady, the rejected wife of Lord 
Fitzmaurice, daughter to the late MacCarthy More, eldest 
brother to this earl.' Edward Fenton was struck by the 
beauty of the scene, and interested by the report of large 
mussels containing pearls ; but he was even more struck by 
Clancare's castle, ' called the Palace, a name very unfit for An Irish 
so beggarly a building, not answerable to a mean farmer's P alace - 
house in England, and his entertainment much like to his 
dwelling.' O'Sullivan More's castle of Dunloe had been 
razed by Ormonde during his first expedition against James 
Fitzmaurice. Leaving Killarney, the army explored Glenflesk, 
which White, with Virgil and Cacus in his mind, calls a 
' famous spelunce.' But they saw neither men, monsters, nor 
cattle, and crossed into the upper valley of the Blackwater 
without any fighting. Near Kantnrk Ormonde recovered his 
heavy baggage which he had left behind on first entering the 
mountains, and the whole army then marched by Mallow to 
Cork. The citizens, who were half-starved themselves, were 
very slow to relieve their wants, but at last agreed to send 
Pelham 100Z., to give 100Z. worth of wine on credit, and 100Z. 
worth of friezes, brogues, and stockings. Many soldiers had 
broken down for want of bread. They could do anything, 
VOL. in, E 



at Cork 


White said, ' if they had but bread, the lack whereof is their 
only overthrow, and nothing else.' l 

In White's quaint language, all the lords and chiefs ' cis- 
alpine and transalpine the mountains of Slieve Logher,' were 
present at Cork. Pelham found that nearly as many Barries 
as Geraldines were in rebellion ; but nevertheless Lord Barry- 
more stood the stiffest on his defence. The rest had very 
little to say for themselves, and Ormonde bitterly upbraided 
them, ' charging himself with their faults for making of Her 
Majesty to conceive so well of them.' Desmond, he says, was 
their ancient scourge and enemy, and as they had favoured 
him he would cast them off and bid each shift for himself. 
He would utterly refuse their friendship and spend his blood 
against them all and against all Her Majesty's enemies, 
' advising such as loved him to follow his ways, and such as 
would not bade them defiance, swearing a great oath and 
clapping his hand upon the Bible, that if Her Majesty did 
proclaim them traitors with the rest he would lay it on 
their skins, and in conclusion advised the Lord Justice to 
carry them all with him to Limerick till better order were 
taken with them.' All were received to mercy except Lord 
Barrymore, who was committed for trial. ' He is, said 
Ormonde, ' an arrant Papist, who a long time kept in his 
house Dr. Tanner, made bishop here by the Pope, who died in 
my Lord of Upper Ossory's house, being secretly kept there. 
Believe me, Mr. Secretary, you shall find my Lord of Upper 
Ossory as bad a man as may be.' Pelham took Clancare, 
Barrymore, and several others with him, and, having been 
delayed at Mallow by a summer flood in the Blackwater, ar- 
rived at Limerick without further adventure. He professed 
himself fairly satisfied with the progress made. Frequent 
inroads, and still more the steady pressure of the garrisons, 
would soon starve out the rebels, unless help came from 
abroad. In that case, he said, ' I look their strength will be 
infinitely multiplied.' 2 

1 Edw. Fenton to Walsingham, July 1 1 ; Ormonde to same, July 21 ; 
White M.R. to same, July 22 ; Pelham to the Privy Council, July 4 and 8 
in Car ere. 

* White M. R. to the Privy Council, July 22, 1580, where Ormonde's 


As if to fill the time till the Spaniards came, a movement CHAP. 

now began which defeated Pelham's calculations. The new - ,- '- 

rebel was James Eustace, who had lately succeeded his father viscount 
as Viscount Baltinglas, and who was an enthusiastic Catholic. Baltin & las - 
He was already connected with the turbulent O'Byrnes, and 
his father had been in opposition on the cess question ; but 
it is clear that religion was the chief motive. Before he 
succeeded to the title, Sanders and others persuaded him to 
go to Rome, and what he saw there under Gregory XIII. 
had exactly a contrary effect on him to what the Rome of 
Leo X. had upon Luther. On his return he heard mass, 
boldly gloried in the fact before the Ecclesiastical Com- 
mission, and was mulcted in the statutable fine of 100 marks, 
Sidney quaintly declaring that he could not countenance 
' Papistry and abolished religion.' Loftus was told to exact 
the money or a bond, and to imprison in default. The young 
lord went to gaol for twenty-four hours, and was pardoned 
on signing the bond. But fine and imprisonment never 
convince, though they sometimes silence, and Baltinglas 
was in no way changed by what courtly officials called her 
Majesty's godly proceedings. ' I mean,' he wrote to a 
Waterford merchant, ' to take this holy enterprise in hand by 
the authority of the Supreme Head of the Church.' 

The letter fell into Ormonde's hands, and the bearer Baltinglas 
seems to have been hanged in chains. Ormonde had already 
warned the Viscount to be careful, and he now sent an 
answer which at once committed him irretrievably and almost 
without hope of pardon. He said he had been commanded 
to take the sword by the highest power on earth, and would 
maintain the truth to the extent of his means. 

' Questionless,' he added, ' it is great want of knowledge, 
and more of grace, to think and believe that a woman un- 
capax of all holy orders, should be the supreme governor of 
Christ's Church ; a thing that Christ did not grant unto his 
own mother. If the Queen's pleasure be, as you allege, to 
minister justice, it were time to begin ; for in this twenty 

speech is given ; Ormonde to Walsingham, July 21 ; Pelham and his Council 
to the Privy Council, July 9 and 12, in Care.w. 

E 2 




A Catholic 

years' part of her reign we have seen more damnable doctrine 
maintained, more oppressing of poor subjects, under pretence 
of justice, within this land than ever we read or heard .... 
If Thomas Becket, the Bishop of Canterbury, had never 
suffered death in the defence of the Church, Thomas Butler, 
alias Becket, had never been Earl of Ormonde.' l Ormonde 
sent the letter by express to Walsingham, for the Queen's 
eye, characterising it as ' foolish, traitorous, popish, and 
devil-persuaded,' praying that God might confound all her 
unnatural subjects and give her victory over all His enemies. 

' Sir, I pray you tell her Majesty that poor Lucas will 
remain constant in the true faith, whoever follow the Pope 
and do the contrary, and that neither Becket nor Canterbury 
shall alter him.' 

It was a year of great activity among the English 
Catholics. Parsons and Campion had just landed; the air 
teemed with rumours, and papers were freely circulated to 
prepare men for something extraordinaiy. A Devonshire 
gentleman named Eve brought one of these to Waterford, 
and it was not calculated to make the task of the Irish 
Government easier. Ten or twelve thousand men from the 
Pope, rather more from the King of Spain, and rather fewer 
from the Duke of Florence, were expected to invade Eng- 
land, and there to reassert the Pope's lawful sovereignty. 
Elizabeth was declared ineligible, both as bastard and as 
heretic, to wear the vassal crown, and it was proposed to 
publish the Bull of excommunication in every Christian 
church and court. The English Catholic nobles were, how- 
ever, to be allowed to crown one of their own number, who 
was to be independent of Spain, but her faithful ally in 
reducing the Hollanders. All Church lands were to be re- 
stored. The importer of this notable scheme was arrested by 
the Mayor of Waterford, and sent in irons to Clonmel, with his 
companion, a merchant of Bridgewater, to be dealt with by 
Pelham. We may, however, be sure that for one such pro- 

Baltinglas to Ormonde, received before July 24, 1580, to R. Walshe, 
July 18; Ormonde to Walsingham, July 24. I believe the connection of 
the Butlers with the Beckets has never been proved. 

THE DESMOND REBELLION, 1579-1 580. 53 

duction intercepted, many escaped the notice of the officials, CHAP. 

and that Baltinglas had reason to expect support from outside. , ' 

But he probably rested his hopes mainly upon the help of his 
neighbours, and even fancied he could get Kildare to join 
him. 1 

On July 14th, nearly a fortnight before the insurrection Attitudeof 
actually broke out, the Archbishop of Dublin met Kildare on 
the legendary hill of Tara. Baltinglas was only two miles 
off, and in charge of the Earl's own troop. Kildare had 
been told everything, and he informed Loftus that the 
Viscount and other Papists had conspired and were ready to 
rebel. ' The first exploit they will do,' he said, ' is to kill 
you and me ; you, for the envy they bear to your religion, 
and me, for that being taken away, they think there is no 
one to make head against them.' Dr. Loftus indeed might 
have had a bad chance had he fallen into their hands, but 
there is no likelihood that they had any murderous intention 
towards Kildare. The threat was probably used as likely to 
have weight with one whose sympathies were already more 
than half-gained: The Archbishop pressed the Earl to arrest 
the traitor and more than once received an evasive answer ; 
but at last Kildare confessed what was doubtless the true 
cause of his inaction. ' I should heap to myself universally 
the hatred and illwill of my country, and pull upon my 
house and posterity for ever the blame.' At last he agreed 
to make an appointment with Baltinglas, and to arrest him, 
provided the Archbishop had an agent present to charge him 
on his allegiance. In the meantime he went to the Viscount 
several times in a quiet way, and did nothing until he and 
Feagh MacHugh 0' Byrne were in actual rebellion. After 
this Baltinglas wrote to tell the Earl that he had unfurled 
his Holiness's banner, and asking for an interview at the 
bridge of Ballymore Eustace. Kildare not appearing, he 
wrote again to express his regret and to urge him to join the 
good cause. ' I trust therefore the day shall never come 

Eve's seditious libel, July 3 ; Pelham to the Mayor of Waterford, 
July 26, in Carcm. 



Results of 
Pel ham's 

that strangers shall say that when Christ's banner was in the 
field on the one side, and the banner of heresy on the other 
side, that the Earl of Kildare's forces were openly seen to 
stand under the heretical banner.' The charming was not 
particularly wise, yet Kildare did not altogether refuse to 
hear it. In the end he so managed matters as to alienate 
both sides. 1 

At the very moment that Baltinglas broke out, Lord 
Grey de Wilton's patent as Deputy was signed in England. 
Pelham had but a few weeks of authority left, and he did 
not pass them in idleness. By the advice of Sir Warham 
St. Leger, and with the consent of Ormonde, he detained 
most of the Munster lords and chiefs at Limerick; and, 
having thus laid hands on the shepherds, he proceeded to 
make his own terms with the flock. ' My manner of prose- 
cuting,' he wrote to the Queen, ' it is thus : I give the rebels 
no breath to relieve themselves, but by one of your garrisons 
or other they be continually hunted. I keep them from their 
harvest, and have taken great preys of cattle from them, by 
which it seemeth the poor people that lived only upon labour, 
and fed by their milch cows, are so distressed as they follow 
their goods and offer themselves with their wives and children 
rather to be slain by the army than to suffer the famine that 
now in extremity beginneth to pinch them. And the calamity 
of these things have made a division between the Earl and 
John of Desmond, John and Sanders seeking for relief to 
fall into the company and fellowship of the Viscount Bal- 
tinglas; and the Earl, without rest anywhere, flieth from 
place to place, and maketh mediation for peace by the 
Countess, whom yesterday I licensed to have speech with me 
at Askeaton, whose abundance of tears betrayed sufficiently 
the miserable estate both of herself, her husband, and their 
followers.' It was by just such means that Mountjoy after- 
wards put down a much greater rebellion and a much abler 
rebel than Desmond, and those Englishmen who knew 
Ireland best could see no alternative. ' It shall be found, 

1 Baltinglas to Kildare, July 22, 1580 ; Deputy Grey to the Queen, 
Dec 23 ; Earls of Kildare, ii. 198 sqq. 



said Bagenal, ' how severely and thoroughly good Sir William 
Pel ham hath handled Munster ; as in all his government 
here he deserved with the best that preceded him, so in that 
wrought he good perfection, and so weakened the traitors 
there, that John Desmond is fled to Leinster, where he is to 
salve his drained estate with Baltinglas. His own actions, 
if his commendation should be withdrawn, will sufficiently 
express his desert.' * 

All important persons who sued for mercy were first 
required to imbrue their hands in some better blood than 
their own, and special services in proportion to their rank 
were required of leading rebels. Eory MacSheehy, a noted 
captain of the Desmond gallowglasses, was given to under- 
stand that he could have a pardon if he gave up Sanders 
alive. Sir John of Desmond sought to confer with St. Leger ; 
he was told that he could have his own life by giving up his 
eldest brother, Dr. Sanders, and the seneschal of Imokilly. 
Sanders himself might perhaps be spared, if he would lay 
bare the whole network of foreign intrigue. The detained 
magnates were let loose one by one as they seemed likely to 
do service. Sir Cormac MacTeige MacCarthy was sheriff ot 
Cork ; he made humble submission, confessed his negligence, 
took a new oath, and departed with 150 English soldiers 
under Captain Apsley and Captain Dering. Soon after- 
wards Sir James of Desmond entered Musketry and collected 
2,000 of Sir Cormac's cattle, which he proposed to drive off 
into the mountains west of Macroon. The sheriff came up 
with him, and a skirmish followed, in which Sir James was 
wounded and taken. He was carried from Carrigadrohid to 
Blarney and thence to Cork, where he was tried and con- 
demned, having in vain begged for summary decapitation 
to avoid a public trial. After two months, during which he 
gave earnest attention to religious subjects, he was hanged, 
drawn, and quartered, or as the Four Masters say, cut into 
little pieces, dying a fervent Catholic and, as his enemies 
allowed, ' a yielding to Godward a better end than otherwise 

1 Pelham to the Queen, Aug. 12, 1580, in Carem ; Sir N. Bagenal to 
Leicester, Oct. 3, in Wright's Elizabeth. 


offered to 
the repen- 

Death of 
Sir James 
of Des- 




chiefs in 

escapes of 
and John 
of Des- 

he would have done if he had not died the death.' ' And 
thus,' says Hooker, ' the pestilent hydra hath lost another of 
his heads.' l 

Lord Fitzmaurice was at liberty, but his two sons were 
detained at Limerick, and he was told that he could only 
make his peace by intercepting Desmond or the Seneschal, or 
at the very least by procuring the release of Sir James Fitz- 
gerald, of Decies, who was imprisoned in Kerry by the rebels. 
Sir Owen O'Sullivan Bere it was thought safe to keep at 
Limerick ; but his neighbour Sir Owen MacCarthy Reagh was 
released, his tanist Donell na Pipy being retained as a 
hostage. Clancare had been protected by Ormonde, and the 
engagement was kept, but he was required to leave his son, 
Lord Valentia, in pledge. Lord Barrymore remained con- 
tumacious, and was sent to Dublin Castle, his sons being 
encouraged to come in under protection, but St. Leger was 
told to keep them safe until they offered good security. Sir 
Warham, who was always for harsh courses, advised that the 
father should be executed and his estate confiscated. The 
example, he thought, would be salutary, and the land would 
pay the whole cost of the war. 2 

In the meantime the garrisons were busy. Sir George 
Bourchier was near taking a rich prize at Kilmallock. 
During a night foray, the soldiers fell in accidentally with 
Sanders and John of Desmond. Sir John was wounded, and 
both he and Sanders were over an hour in company with the 
soldiers, whose suspicions they disarmed by exhorting them, 
in English, to slay the Irish. An Englishman in Sanders' 
service was taken and killed by the soldiers, because he would 
confess nothing. James O'Hea, a friar of Youghal, was made 
prisoner, and gave important information. 

A division of opinion had arisen between Desmond on the 
one hand, and his brother Sanders on the other. The Earl 

1 Pelham to Lord Fitzmaurice, July 27, 1580 ; to St. Leger, Aug. 15; 
the Estate wherein Pelham left Munster, Aug. 28 : these three in Careiv. 
St. Leger and P. Grant to Ormonde, Aug. 6 ; St. Leger to Burghley, Oct 9. 

2 Pelham to Burghley, July 16, 1580 ; to St. Leger, Aug. 26 ; the latter 
in Careiv. State in which Pelham left Ireland, Aug. 28, in Careiv. Si. 
Leger to Burghley, July 15. 


was inclined to sue for peace, but the others were determined CHAP. 

to fight it out to the last. Finding themselves straitened in , ' 

Kerry, they made their way to Leinster, where Baltinglas 
eagerly expected them. With about five-and-twenty fol- 
lowers, they passed through the glen of Aherlow, and crossed 
North Tipperary into the Queen's County, where they were 
helped by the remnant of the O'Mores, and by the veteran 
Piers Grace, until they joined the O'Byrnes near the border 
of Wicklow. They had an escape on the road, which 
Pelham called strange, and which a Catholic writer evidently 
thought miraculous. They met Ormonde or more probably 
one of his brothers who called out that they were in the 
net. ' A sudden tempest,' we are told, ' arose on a fine day 
whether at the Doctor's prayers, or not, God knows and the 
rain was so thick that the Earl, with the ministers of Satan, 
could not advance against the Catholics, nor even hold up 
their heads for a whole hour.' The fugitives, who had the W h eon- 
wind at their backs, threw away all superfluous weight, and 
escaped. Having lost their best leader, the Munster rebels 
sought terms for themselves. Baltinglas summoned Desmond 
himself to join him, for defence of the Catholic faith, but the 
Earl's people said they were starving, and could endure no 
longer war ; and they openly reviled Sanders as the cause of 
all their misery. 1 

Wearied by want of bread and all comforts, the rebel Earl Desmond 
began to feel that the game was up, and he besought Winter 
to give him a passage to England. Pelham did not object, 
provided the surrender was unconditional ; but would allow 
no agents to pass, nor the Countess to go over without her 
husband. The poor lady's tears showed him that her cause 
was desperate. Chief Secretary Fenton was principally struck 
by her impudence in venturing to defend her husband's con- 
duct. Pelham was inclined to believe that they both meant 
nothing but villainy, and were only seeking time to get in 

1 Paper by J. Holing, S. J., in Spicilegiitm Ossoriense, i. 94. Pelham to 
Bourchier, Aug. 5, 1580 ; to the Queen, Aug. 12 ; to Winter, Aug. 16; State 
in which Pelham left Ireland, Aug. 28 ; all in Carem. G. Fenton to Burgh- 
ley and Leicester, Aug. 8 ; Wallop to Wal>ingham, Aug. 9. 





lii.s mind 

when a 
new go- 

the harvest, and he directed Bourchier at Kilmallock, and 
Case at Askeaton, to give the fugitive Earl no rest for the 
sole of his foot. The hunted wretch might have surrendered 
to Winter had it not been for the change of government, 
which, both before and since, in Ireland, has often been 
wrongly supposed to denote a change of policy. He had 
perhaps been told that Grey's orders from the Queen were 
to treat him leniently. At all events he changed his tone, 
though he had but 120 gallowglasses with him. These men 
clamoured loudly and vainly for their quarter's pay, and the 
camp was followed by a horde of poor starving creatures, who 
begged such scraps as unpaid soldiers could give. In spite 
of all this, Desmond now declared that he would yield to Grey 
only, for that he remembered former hard treatment in Eng- 
land, and doubted that it would be worse than ever. And so 
the matter stood when Pelham, who had himself desired to 
be relieved, received the order to go to Dublin, and there 
surrender the sword to his successor. He had declared him- 
self willing to serve under the new governor in Munster, with 
or without the title of Lord President, and the latter was 
directed to take advantage of his zeal, his experience, and 
his martial skill. As it was, he left Ireland on the nominal 
ground of health, perhaps because he could not get on with 
Grey, or because the Queen was frightened at the expense. 
He afterwards found work in the Netherlands, and Bourchier 
was left in charge of Munster with the rank of Colonel, 
Ormonde having enough to do in defending his own country 
against the Leinster insurgents. 1 

1 Pelham to Winter, Aug. 24, 1580; Winter to Pelham, Aug. 24 ; Direc- 
tions to Sir G. Bourchier, Aug. 28 : all in Carem. Gerard, White, M.R.,and 
Wallop to Burghley, Oct. 7 ; Wallop to Walsingham, Sept. 28; Grey to the 
Queen, Oct. 5. Grey landed Aug. 12, and was sworn in Sept. 7. 




WHATEVER private hints the Queen might give to Grey, his CHAP. 
official instructions contained nothing to Desmond's advan- 3 X T V ^' 
tage. On the contrary, he was warned to avoid the common ^, g 
fault of former governors, who had been too easy in granting instmc- 
pardons to notorious transgressors of the law, and had 
ihereby bred boldness in subjects prone to offend. In future, 
pardons were not to be given without good reasons, nor at all 
in general terms, but only for some specified offence. On 
the other hand the Queen was anxious to have it known that 
she did not wish to extirpate the inhabitants of Ireland, as it 
had been falsely and maliciously reported. Outrages com- 
mitted by soldiers were to be severely punished, and officers 
of high rank were not to be exempt. The rebellion was to 
be put down as quickly as possible, so that her Majesty's 
charge might be reduced. Grey landed on August 12, but 
the sword of state was still in Munster, and he could not 
take the oath without it. Baltinglas and Feagh MacHugh 
O'Byrne were in force not much more than twenty miles 
from Dublin, and he resolved to attack them before Pelham's 
arrival. 1 

Whatever hopes Desmond himself may have had from state of the 
Grey, the change of government was not favourable to the * e ' 
chances of a rebellion near Dublin. The advent of a 
governor of high rank generally signified increased force, ^ 
a more liberal expenditure of money, and more activity in 
official circles. Lord Chancellor Gerard had just landed on a 

1 Lord Grey's instructions, July 15, 1580, are printed in Desiderata 
Cu,r'wsa Hibcrnica. 


CHAP, part of the coast over which Baltinglas was for the moment 
, ' supreme ; and the latter had unaccountably neglected to 

make him a hostage. ' Compared with the rest of his 
doings,' said Pelham, ' this doth argue that both he and his 
followers be the most foolish traitors that ever I heard of.' 
The Chancellor reported that all the Leinster chiefs as well 
as O'Neill, O'Donnell, O'Rourke, and O'Connor Sligo were 
sworn to Baltinglas, and that he had the hearts of the whole 
country. The rebels had burned Harrington's town of New- 
castle, and openly displayed the Pope's banner ; but Kildare 
seemed to stand firm, and comforted the Chancellor by 
abusing the captains for giving false musters, saying that 
the Queen paid for 1,300 when she had only 700. But his 
most trusted follower, Gerald Fitzmaurice, had joined the 
rebels with his company. Sir William Stanley brought 
reinforcements from England, but in such plight as to argue 
no great probability of good service. Out of 120 calivers 
scarce twenty were serviceable, and the men were raw, ill- 
provided with necessaries, and fewer than their leader had 
been given to expect. The captains, blamed by Kildare, said 
their pay was at least three months in arrear, and of course 
all their men were discontented. Gormanston lay at Naas 
with 500 men, but the distrust was so general that Arch- 
bishop Loftus believed the throats of all Englishmen were 
about to be cut. ' Unless strangers land,' the Chancellor 
remarked, ' I mistrust ; and if they do I am of the Arch- 
bishop's mind.' Meanwhile the country south of Dublin 
was at the mercy of the rebels, and it was easy to know 
who sympathised with them. ' They religiously prey,' said 
Gerard, ' overskipping some, many have taken oaths not to 
fight against them.' 2,000 Scots were plundering loyal 
people in Ulster, and it was hard to see where it was to 
stop. 1 

Baltinglas and Feagh MacHugh lay in the valley of the 

1 Gerard, C., to Burghley, July 29 and August 3, 1580, to Walsingham, 
August 3 (with enclosures) ; to Wallop, August 7 ; Lord Deputy Grey and 
Council to the Privy Council, August 14 ; Zouch and Stanley to Walsing- 
ham, July 20 ; Pelham to Gerard, July 30, in Careir. 


Liffev. somewhere about Ballymore Eustace. On the ap- CHAP. 


proach of Grey's army from the side of Naas they withdrew , ' 

into Glenmalure, a deep and rocky fortress a combe, as the attacks the 
Devonian Hooker calls it to the N.E. of Lugnaquilla. The Giennia- 
glen was thickly wooded, and at least four miles long, and lure - 
Colonel George Moore was ordered to enter it with about half 
the army. Grey was more a knight-errant than a general, 
and he determined to attack at once and in front, though 
warned by those about him of the risk he was running. His 
object was to drive the rebels from the covert, so that they 
might be shot or ridden down on the open hillside. Old 
Francis Cosby, general of the Queen's kerne, who was a 
trian of extraordinary personal courage and of unrivalled 
experience in Irish warfare, foresaw the danger ; but he was 
not listened to, and he boldly advanced to what he believed 
to be almost certain death. Jacques Wingfield, the Master 
of the Ordinance, who doubtless remembered his own over- 
throw nineteen years before, was present with his two 
nephews, Peter and George Carew, and he vainly tried to 
dissuade them from risking their lives. ' If I lose one,' he 
then urged, ' yet will I keep the other,' and George, reserved, 
as Carnden says, for greater things, consented to stay by his 
uncle. Sir Peter, with Captain Audley and Lieutenant 
Parker, were with Colonel Moore in front, while Sir Henry 
Bagenal and Sir William Stanley brought up the rear. 
' When we entered,' says Stanley, ' the foresaid glen, we 
were forced to slide sometimes three or four fathoms ere we 
could stay our feet. It was in depth at least a mile, full of 
stones, rocks, bogs, and wood ; in the bottom a river full of 
loose stones, which we were driven to cross divers times. So 
long as our leaders kept the bottom, the odds were on our 
side. But our colonel, being a corpulent man, before we 
were half through the glen, being four miles in length, led 
us up the hill that was a long mile in height ; it was so steep 
that we were forced to use our hands as well to climb as our 
feet, and the vanward being gone up the hill, we must of 
necessity follow. ... It was the hottest piece of service for 
the time that ever I saw in any place. I was in the rearward, 




Defeat of 
the Eng 

CHAP, and with me twenty-eight soldiers of mine, whereof were slain 
-I r ' eight, and hurt ten. I had with me my drum, whom I 

caused to sound many alarms, which was well answered by 
them that was in the rearward, which stayed them from 
pulling us down by the heels. But I lost divers of my dear 
friends. They were laid all along the wood as we should 
pass, behind trees, rocks, crags, bogs, and in covert. Yet 
so long as we kept the bottom we lost never a man, till we 
were drawn up the hill by our leaders, where we could 
observe no order ; we could have no sight of them, but were 
fain only to beat the places where we saw the smoke of our 
pieces ; but the hazard of myself and the loss of my company 
was the safeguard of many others .... were a man never 
so slightly hurt, he was lost, because no man was able to help 
him up the hill. Some died, being so out of breath that 
they were able to go no further, being not hurt at all.' l 

Carew and Audley had a dispute at the outset, and the 
loud talk of two usually quiet and modest officers had a very 
bad effect on their men. The renegade captain, Gerald Fitz- 
maurice, had full information from Kildare's people, if not 
from the Earl himself, and he knew the companies had never 
been together before. They contained many raw recruits, 
and he rightly calculated that they would be thrown into 
confusion by an unseen enemy. The soldiers fresh from 
England wore red or blue coats, and Maltby, who was with 
Grey in the open, saw how easily they were picked off. ' The 
strangeness of the fight,' he adds, ' is such to the new-come 
ignorant men that at the first brunt they stand all amazed, or 
rather give back to the enemy. . . . Their coats stand them 
in no stead, neither in fashion nor in giving them any succour 
to their bodies. Let the coat-money be given to some person 
of credit, with which, and with that which is also bestowed on 
their hose, they may clothe themselves here with jerkins and 
hose of frieze, and with the same money bring them every 
man a mantle which shall serve him for his bedding and 
thereby shall not be otherwise known to the rebels than the 

1 F,ir Iffittfrs: Stanley to Walsinjrham, August 31, lo 


old soldiers be.' The recruits wavered, the kerne ran away CHAP . 


to fehe enemy, and so ' the gentlemen were lost.' -- <- " 

Stanley says not above thirty Englishmen were killed, 
but Moore, Cosby, Audley, and other officers were among 
them. Grey thought the rebels were fewer than the soldiers, 
who were stricken by panic. Sir Peter Carew was clad in_ 
complete armour, which proved more fatal than even a red 
coat. Suffocated from running up hill he was forced to lie 
down and was easily taken. It was proposed to hold him 
to ransom, ' but one villain,' says Hooker, ' most butcherly, as 
soon as he was disarmed, with his sword slaughtered and 
killed him, who in time after was also killed.' 

Three months afterwards George Carew rejoiced that he 
had the good fortune to slay him who slew his brother, and 
announced that he meant to lay his bones by his or to be 
' thoroughly satisfied with revenge.' No doubt the survivor 
under such circumstances would be filled with remorseful 
bitterness ; but his thirst for revenge, fully slaked by a murder 
three years later, can be scarcely justified even according to 
that ancient code which prescribes an eye for an eye, and a 
tooth for a tooth. 1 

When a civilised government receives a check from its Conse- 
revolted subjects, the moral effect is generally out of all pro- the affair, 
portion to the actual loss. But Pelham had effectually bridled 
Monster, and Maltby had for the moment nearly neutralised 
Connaught and Ulster also. O'Rourke and O'Donnell now 
both took arms in the Catholic cause, and there was every 
prospect of a general conflagration. Maltby rode post from 
Dublin northwards, and such was the dread which he had 
inspired, that O'Donnell at once disbanded his men, and wrote 
to say that nothing should make him swerve from his allegiance. 
The President hastened to Leitrim, where he found that 

O'Rourke had dismantled the castle. He immediately began 


1 George Carew to Walsinghara, November 20, 1580. For the defeat in 
Glenmalure, see Stanley, Maltby, and Gerard to Walsingham, August 31 
Grey to Walsingham, August 31 ; to Burghley, September 12 ; Wallop to 
Walsingham, September 9 ; Hooker ; Four Masters, 1580 ; Camden, who 
exaggerates the less ; O'Sullivan, ii. iv. 14, who ridiculously estimates the 
slain at 800. 



Results of 

to repair it, though he had to draw lime eight miles. The 
tanist Brian O'Rourke, who regarded the chief as his 
greatest enemy, helped the work, and gladly acted as sheriff 
under the President. 

O'Rourke appeared at the edge of a wood with 1,200 men, 
of whom 500 were Scots ; but Ulick Burke, who begged for 
the place of honour, charged at the head of 200 soldiers and 
500 kerne. Some Scots were killed, and the building was 
not further interrupted. Leaving a strong garrison in the 
castle, Maltby then hurried back to Dublin, and arrived there 
in time to be a witness and a critic of the Glenmalure affair. 
He warned the English Government that Ulster was in a 
dangerous state, and that Tirlogh Luineach's wife was deter- 
mined to make a new Scotland of that province. ' She has 
already planted a good foundation, for she in Tyrone, her 
daughter in Tyrconnell (being O'Donnell's wife), and Sorleyboy 
in Clandeboy, do carry all the sway in the North, and do seek 
to creep into Connaught, but I will stay them from that.' 1 

The news of Grey's defeat did not reach the officials at 
Cork for eleven days, and then only in a fragmentary way, 
but its effect upon the natives was instantaneous. Tirlogh 
Luineach, whom Captain Piers had just brought to terms, 
suddenly swept round the lower end of Lough Neagh, 
drove off the cattle of the loyalist Sir Hugh Magennis, and 
killed many of his men, demanded the title of O'Neill, and 
the old hegemony claimed by Shane, declared that he would 
stand in defence of religion while life lasted, and proposed to 
invade the Pale with 5,000 men. The Scots' galleys lay in 
Lough Foyle, and effectual resistance seemed impossible. The 
Baron of Dungannon sent his cattle to the mountains, and hid 
himself in the woods, protesting his loyalty even ' if all the 
Irishry in Ireland should rebel,' and if he had nothing left 
but his bare body. But Magennis, after crouching for a 
while at Narrow Water, was forced to go as a suppliant to 
Tirlogh's camp. 

The southern side of the Pale was in no better case. A 

1 Maltby to Leicester and Walsingham, August 17; the former in 
Cart n-\ Gerard to Walsingham, August 14. 


strong force under John of Desmond besieged Maryborough, and CHAP. 

the constable was so closely watched that he dared not write. . ' 

A private settler living in the unfinished castle of Disert, and p a i e , 
expecting to be attacked every moment, sent the news to 
Dublin, but was forced to entrust his letter to a poor beggar- 
man. Ladders were ready in the woods to attack all posts. 
Some of Ormonde's villages were burned, and his brother 
Piers, though he maintained his own ground, could not save 
Abbeyleix from the flames. The remnant of the O'Connors 
rose once more, and Ross MacGeohegan, the most loyal and 
useful subject in the midlands, was murdered by his half- 
brother Brian, whose mother was an O'Connor. 'All is 
naught here,' wrote Maltby from Dublin, ' and like to be and in 
worse.' He had to reach Athlone by a circuitous route, and n u ght> 
found his province already in an uproar. 1 

It was in foreign aid that all Irish rebels mainly trusted ; The Spani- 
and it was supposed that the fleet would prevent any descent *^ aUast. 
upon Munster, the only district where strangers from the 
South would have much chance of maintaining themselves. 
Winter had been directed to cruise about the mouth of the 
Shannon, having first sent some light craft to the Biscay 
coast for news. He was not to land himself, but if necessary 
to employ a naval brigade under Captain Richard Bingham. 
The admiral was not in good health ; he hated the service, 
he hated Captain Bingham, and he was ready to run home 
as soon as there seemed the least chance of victuals running 
short. The fleet reached Ireland about the beginning of 
April, and early in July Winter threatened to sail away. But 
the Queen's positive orders restrained him for a time, and 
Pelham was at hand to inculcate obedience, reminding him 
that there was generally a Michaelmas summer in Ireland. 
Pelham left Munster on the last day of August, on December 
5th Winter sailed for England, and on the 12th the long- 
expected Spaniards arrived at Smerwick. The admiral was 

1 Hugh Magennis to Giey, August 29, 1580 ; Dungannon and Sir Hugh 
O'Reilly to Grey, September 3 ; Gormanston to Grey, September 4 ; Sir N. 
Bagenal to Grey, September 2 ; Mr. John Barnes to Grey (from Disert), 
September 4 ; Nathaniel Smith to Maltby, September 3 ; Maltby to Wai. 
singham, September 7 and 8. 



CHAP, required to explain his very unseasonable departure, and it 

, ' must be admitted that he had reasons, though a Drake or a 

Nelson might not have allowed them much weight. The 
ships were foul, and sailed too badly either for flight or chase, 
the sails and ropes were rotten from the unceasing wet of a 
Kerry summer, victuals were running short, there was a 
most plentiful lack of news, and the Shannon was a bad 
anchorage at the best. Whatever the Queen may have 
thought of the admiral's conduct, it did not prevent her from 
sending him to Ireland again. 1 

An English An attack on England could not be secretly prepared 
Spain] g m m Spain, for the carrying trade was in England's hands. 
Armed rovers like Drake, Hawkins, and Frobisher, half 
merchants and half buccaneers, came and went as they 
pleased upon the peninsular coast, in the confident hope that 
no Spaniard could catch them. Such a one was Captain 
James Sidee, an excellent seaman but not altogether free 
from suspicion of piracy, whom it had been necessary to 
pardon some years before. He sailed boldly into the splendid 
harbour of Ferroll, and wrote to the governor demanding the 
surrender of certain English subjects whom he supposed to 
be living there. He had perceived, he said grimly, that the 
country folk were in terror at his approach, but he was no 
pirate and would take no one by force, for Ferroll was the 
' king's chamber which he was commanded not to break.' 
But he wanted his own fellow-subjects, who had plundered 
a Plymouth ship at sea, and hinted plainly that he could 
take them if he liked. He said they were only cowkeepers 
who had left their cows, and John Fleming, James Fitz- 
maurice's admiral, had run away from his creditors. The 
Irish bishop who was with them might find some better 
employment than keeping kine in Ireland. The Spanish 
governor's answer does not appear ; but one Barnaby O'Neill 
wrote to say that the bishop was noble, chaste, virtuous, and 

1 Pelham to the Privy Council, July 14, 1580; to the Irish Council, 
July 22 ; to Winter, August 1 6, all in Carem. Instructions to Sir William 
Winter, March 17; and considerations which moved him, September 23; 
Sir R. Bingham to Walsingham, September 20; Baron of Lixnaw to the 
Minister Commissioners, September 15. 


learned, while the heretic bishops of England were shoe- CHAP. 
makers, scavengers, and pudding-makers, that Fleming was f xx j 1 ^ 1 ; 
Lord Slane's cousin, and that Sidee had served under that 
rebel, traitor, and coward, the Prince of Orange. Sidee 
retorted that the Silent Prince was far above his praise, and 
that he did not believe his correspondent was an O'Neill at 
all, for he had never heard his name. He might of course 
be some bastard, but he rather inclined to think that he was 
really one William Hall, a murderous thief well known in 
Ireland and Spain. Sir William Winter was of opinion that 
Sidee's proceedings would not facilitate English diplomacy in 
Spain, and indeed it was an uncomfortable time for English- 
men there. But Philip was most anxious to avoid war 
much too anxious indeed for the taste of his ambassadors in 
England and Elizabeth's subjects suffered more petty an- 
noyance than actual hardship. 1 

William Carusse of Drogheda sailed from Tenby to Spain, i r i s h 
with a cargo, in the ' Gift of God,' a vessel of only nineteen g^/j, 668 1D 
tons. Being chased by a man-of-war, he put into Santander, 
where he found an English ship and an English bark, and 
where he was boarded by the corregidor, and by two or three 
ecclesiastics who vainly searched for books, and seem to have 
helped themselves to six shillings. The national proverb 
that in Spain a little oil sticks to every hand was exemplified 
by Carusse's treatment. He made friends with Mr. Browne, 
natural brother of Lady Kildare, and afterwards with Oliver 
Plunkett, a Drogheda gentleman who had served Spain in 
Flanders. Both befriended him with the Spanish authorities ; 
and as they meditated an invasion of Ireland, it was not their 
cue to make enemies there. Browne had a map of Ireland 
drawn by himself, and showed by his conversation that he 
knew the coast. Plunkett declared that the conquest of the 
island would be child's play, but that Dublin and Drogheda 
might give trouble. Lord Gormanston had just married a 
relative or friend of Plunkett's, who was most anxious to send 
her a letter of congratulation, but Carusse refused to carry 

1 The correspondence about Sidee is between March 19 and 21, 1580 ; 
Winter to the Privy Council, April 27 ; Notes for the Privy Council, May 14. 

F 2 


CHAP, letters. His sails were then taken away, and by Browne's 


, * advice he gave six ducats to the corregidor, four to a scrivener, 

and two each to two other officers. Then the sails were 
restored. Five hundred ducats belonging to him were im- 
pounded, but afterwards restored, with a deduction of four as 
a fee for counting them. A further fee of three ducats and 
expenses was exacted by Browne, and then Carusse was 
allowed to go free. He noted that Plunkett had three large 
ships under his orders, and he conversed with several Irish- 
men, including a priest and a friar. All talked long and 
loud of the coming conquest, and the ecclesiastics dwelt with 
unction on the bishoprics and other preferments which would 
be vacant. Meanwhile the very Lord Gormanston about 
whom Plunkett spoke was giving information to the Govern- 
ment. It was, he said, a religious war, and religion would 
draw men far ; nevertheless, he could do a great deal if he 
had only money. Ireland was as corrupt as Spain. 1 
Devasta The fleet were lying at Ventry when the news came that 

Kerry. Pelham had gone to Dublin, and left the troops under Sir 
George Bourchier's command. Bourchier immediately entered 
Kerry with 600 or 700 men, and with the help of Lord 
Fitzmaurice began to devastate the country still further. 
From Castle Island to Dingle, on both sides of Slieve Mish, 
the powers of fire were tried to the utmost. An Englishman 
who had been with Sanders was taken and executed, and 
Lady Desmond was closely chased for two miles. The Earl 
fled into Limerick, and the wretched people crowded down 
to the sea, and submitted to the admiral, as the lesser of two 
evils. Winter persuaded Bourchier to spare them, on con- 
dition of their maintaining a garrison of 200 foot and 30 
horse at Tralee, and of giving hostages for good behaviour, 
otherwise they were told that Sir George would execute his 
commission strictly ; and his commission was ' to burn their 
corn, spoil their harvest, kill and drive their cattle.' The 
4,000 cows which had been driven in were then spared, and 
so were many prisoners poor and rich. Winter sailed away 

1 Examination of William Camsse, Angiist 12, 1580; Viscount Germans- 
ton to Gerard, July 28. 


iust as the hostile expedition was leaving Corunna, and one CHAP. 

week later four Spanish vessels came into Smerwick, where , ' 

they landed men and tents, and began to fortify on the old Spaniards 
ground. Two other ships were taken at sea by the Huguenots, land> 
who carried them into Rochelle. The more successful part 
of the squadron took a homeward-bound Frenchman with 
56,000 codfish from Newfoundland, killed the captain and 
three men, and brought the remaining twenty-eight to Ireland, 
where they used them as labourers. One of the Spanish ships 
was a galley with thirty-two oars, and they gave out that she 
was powerful enough to batter castles. But Captain Thomas 
Clinton, who was cruising about the mouth of the Shannon, 
said he would fight her had he but ten musketeers on board 
his small vessel. The strangers were nearly all Italians, and 
only about 600 men seem to have landed, though there were 
rumours of more coming. Friar Matthew Oviedo was apos- 
tolic commissary, and with him were Dr. Ryan, papal Bishop 
of Killaloe, two Jesuit preachers, and three or four friars. 
Desmond came down the coast to meet them, and attacked . 
Ardfert and Fenit castles with their aid. But they had 
brought up only small cannon, and the Irish garrisons easily 
beat them off. Captain Bingham contemptuously designates 
the rank and file as ' poor simple bisognos, very ragged, and a 
great part of them boys'; but they had 5,000 stand of arms, 
and four kegs of Spanish reals were given to Desmond. 
Ormonde immediately prepared to take the field, and Grey, 
who at first scarcely believed that the strangers had 
landed, thought it better to temporise with Tirlogh Luineach, 
to whom Sanders had offered the sovereignty of Ulster. If 
the Queen would give him a butt or two of sack, it might, 
for the moment, make him forget to urge inadmissible 
claims. ' As toys please children, so to Bacchus knights the 
lick of grapes is liking, of which crew this is a royal 
fellow.' ! 

1 Grey to the Queen, October 5, 1580 ; Bingham to Walsingham, Sep- 
tember 20 and October 18 ; and to Leicester same date in Carerv ; James 
Golde and Thomas Arthur to Wallop and Waterhouse, September 30 ; 
Commons of Lixnaw to same, September 27 ; Thomas Clinton to the 
Attorney of Munster, September 26. 




Just three weeks after the landing of the Spaniards, 
Ormonde set out from Cork with 1,600 men. He was com- 
pletely ignorant of the enemy's force, but was anxious to 
have the first brush with them ; and he passed the mountains 
into Kerry without his full armour and without camp fur- 
niture. He learned at once that Desmond and his brother 
John, Baltinglas, Piers Grace, and Sanders, with most of 
the foreigners, were strongly posted at Bungunder near 
Tralee. They gave out that they would fight, but fell back 
at Ormonde's approach, and left his way open to Smerwick. 
The enemy in the field broke up into small bodies, but the 
fort was too strong to attempt without artillery. After con- 
ferring with the invaders, Baltinglas returned to his district, 
thus passing, as John of Desmond and Sanders did, twice 
unmolested right across Ireland. Hearing that Desmond 
had got into his rear, Ormonde turned to pursue, when the 
garrison of Smerwick made a sally and tried to provoke a 
fight. But Ormonde was too cautious thus to be drawn under 
their guns, and went on to surprise Desmond's bivouac near 
Castlemaine. He took a few Spanish prisoners as well as 
some ' painted tables, altar-cloths, chalices, books, and other 
such furniture said to be the nuncio's.' The Earl left his 
troops in the county of Limerick, and went home to help his 
wife to make great cheer, for the Lord Deputy Grey had 
written to him for 1,000 beeves, and he remarked that he 
might as well ask him to kill all the enemy with a breath. 
500, by great exertion, might perhaps be collected. He found 
time to write a letter to a Spanish nobleman and to send him 
a hawk taken, as he was careful to mention, out of one of the 
many castles from which Desmond had been driven to woods 
and mountains. He told his correspondent that he was busy 
hunting the wild Biskyes and Italians, and that the rebel 
Earl would soon be hanged and quartered, like his brother 
James. ' As for the foreigners,' he added, ' this much I will 
assure you, that they curse the Pope and as many as sent 
them, which they shall shortly have better cause to do.' l 

1 Ormonde to R. Shee, October 8, 1580, to an unnamed correspondent, 
Nov. (No. 71), to the Conde the Lemes ' ( 7 De Lerma) October 31. 


Having had time to put his squadron into something CHAP. 

like trim, Winter was ordered back to Ireland, Bingham ^-_, -' 

accompanying him as vice-admiral. Sailing from Harwich voyage rf 
with a fine breeze from the N.E., they ran through the Straits Bin g ham - 
and down Channel as far as Ryde, where some days were lost 
waiting for orders. When the word was at last given, the 
wind held in the same point, but the sea rose and the ships 
parted company in Portland Race. Captain Bingham, in 
the ' Swiftsure,' looked into Falmouth, but did not see the 
admiral, and chose to think that he was gone ahead, whereas 
he was really far astern. Bingham ran past the Land's End, 
where the wind changed to W.N.W., made Cape Clear in the 
morning, and anchored at the mouth of Valentia harbour. 
Winter strongly objected to his second-in-command's ex- 
cessive zeal, and it is plain that they hated each other 
cordially. In great glee probably at having outstripped his 
chief, the strenuous Bingham went into Valentia with the 
boats, but found only Captain Clinton, who directed him to 
Smerwick. There he anchored near the fort, after a run of 
sixty hours from Portland, of which ten had been passed in 
Valentia harbour ; yet he tells us that the ' Swiftsure ' was 
the slowest ship in the fleet. Ormonde was gone already ; 
and the garrison, with the help of the peasantry, were busy 
strengthening their works. Bingham prepared to cut out 
their ships ; but they towed them in almost aground, and, 
after exchanging shots with them, he made up his mind 
that the works could not be taken without heavy ordnance. 
Fourteen pieces were mounted on the rampart, the largest 
being of the kind called sakers. John of Desmond and all 
the foreigners were at the fort, and Bingham understood that 
many of the latter would leave Ireland if they could. The 
chill October weather did not suit the Italians, and many of 
them died. Brave Romans the Irish called them, but the 
Englishman said they were as poor rascals as he had ever 
met with. 1 

Towards the end of October, the Lord Deputv, much Grey goes 

to Kerry. 

1 Captain R. Bingham to Walsingham, October 13, 18, and 23, 1580; _to__ 
Leicester, October 18, in Carerv. 


CHAP, hindered by flooded rivers and a bad commissariat, slowly 

, ' made his way by Kilkenny into the county of Limerick. At 

Rathkeale he was joined by the English companies whom 
Ormonde had with him, and led the united force to Dingle. 
The Earl seems to have returned himself. Among the newly 
arrived captains was Walter Raleigh, burning with anxiety 
to distinguish himself, and ready to tempt fortune to almost 
any extent. When the camp at Rathkeale broke up, he held 
his own company in ambush until the main column had gone 
to some distance. Then came some wretched kernes to pick 
up what they could, as the lepers came to the Syrian camp 
before Samaria. Raleigh took them all prisoners, including 
one who carried a bundle of osiers, used by the Irish as 
halters, and who imprudently said that they were to hang up 
English churls. ' They shall now serve an Irish kerne,' said 
/ Raleigh, and this jester out of season was hanged forthwith. 
The other prisoners, says Hooker, were treated according to 
their deserts, but we are not told what those deserts were. 
The whole army then marched as far as Dingle, where they 
encamped to wait for the admiral, who lingered at Kinsale 
after his rough voyage. After conferring with Bingham and 
viewing the fort, Grey agreed that regular approaches were 
necessary, and until the fleet came nothing could be done, 
for the army was not provided either with trenching tools or 
heavy guns. 1 

The fleet at More than a week later an express came from Winter to 
say that he had been delayed by weather, but was now in 
Smerwick harbour, and that three provision ships had come 
from Cork and Limerick. Grey at once rode to Smerwick 
from his camp near Dingle, and Winter agreed to land eight 
pieces of cannon. Next day was Sunday, part of which Grey 
spent with Bingham studying the ground, and on Monday he 
moved his camp to near the doomed fort. At his approach the 
garrison hung out the Pope's banner and saluted the Lord 
Deputy with a round shot, which very nearly killed Jacques 
Wingfield. A small party sallied forth and skirmished with 

1 Hooker; Grey to the Queen, November 12, 1580; Bingham to Wal- 
singham, November 3. 


the advanced guard of the English under cover of a heavy CHAP. 

, .X- A A V 1 1 A . 

fire from musketeers lying in the ditch. The practice was 1 ' 

remarkably bad, for -the only damage done to the English by 
more than 600 rounds was to graze Captain Zouch's leg 
without breaking the skin. Grey pitched his tent near the 
fort, and that night a trench was made. The sailors went 
to work with a will, and two pieces were mounted, which 
began to play next morning at a distance of about 240 yards 
from the work. The enemy had mounted their guns so badly 
that only two seriously annoyed the besiegers. These were 
disabled by two o'clock ; and the garrison were reduced to 
musketry and to harquebusses which they fired from rests. 
Every little skirmish went against the Italians, and in spite 
of four sallies the sappers worked up that night to within 
120 yards of the ditch. 

The only serious casualty happened next morning. Good J he . 
John Cheke, as Grey calls him, was a son of the great scholar, cannot 
and inherited most scholarlike poverty, although he was themselves 
Burghley's nephew. Tired of living as a dependant on his 
uncle's favour, and much more in awe of him than of Spanish 
bullets, he begged a horse from the great Lord Treasurer 
and resolved to seek his fortune in Ireland. Incautiously 
raising his head above the trench, he received a fatal wound, 
and Grey descants at great length upon his edifying end. 
' He made,' wrote the Puritan warrior to the Queen, ' so 
divine a confession of his faith, as all divines in either of 
your Majesty's realms could not have passed, if matched, it ; 
so wrought in him God's spirit, plainly declaring him a child 
of His elected.' Grey observed that the fatal volley came 
from under a wooden penthouse, and pointed out the spot 
to Winter, who himself laid the guns. The second shot 
dislodged the musketeers, and at the fourth a flag of truce 
was shown on the ramparts. The Pope's banner had first been 
struck and replaced by a black and a white banner. This 
was to warn Desmond, who had promised to be on the 
neighbouring hills with 4,000 men. The furling of the 
black flag was a first signal of distress ; but no help came, 


CHAP, and a parley was asked for. Sir James Fitzgerald of Decies 

, ' had been given by Desmond to the Italians with instructions 

to exact 1,0001. ransom ; he was now brought out and 
liberated. The camp-master, Alexander Bartoni, a Florentine, 
then came into the trenches, and said that certain Spaniards 
and Italians had been lured to Ireland by false representa- 
tions, that they had no quarrel with Queen Elizabeth, and 
that they were quite ready to depart as they had come. A 
Spanish captain followed, but he made no pretence of being 
sent by his king, or of having communicated with any higher 
authority than Recalde, the governor of Bilboa. The 
Florentine said they were all sent by the Pope for the 
I defence of the Catholica fede, and Grey, in true Puritan 
V style, replied that his Holiness was ' a detestable shaveling, 
\ the right Antichrist and general ambitious tyrant over all 
' right principalities, and patron of the diabolica fede.' All 
conditions were refused, and in the evening the commandant, 
Sebastian de San Josefo, a Bolognese, came himself into the 
trenches and begged for a truce till morning. 

Thesur- The interpreter was Oliver Plunkett, who expected no 


mercy and therefore opposed all negotiations, and his double- 
dealing may have caused such confusion as to make it possible 
to say that the garrison had surrendered on promise of their 
lives. The strangers may even have thought they had such 
a promise, but it is clear that Grey's terms were unconditional 
surrender or storm as soon as practicable. The unfortunate 
Sebastian embraced his knees, and promised to evacuate the 
place unconditionally next morning. Catholic writers accuse 
San Josefo of cowardice, but he could not help surrendering, 
for the fort had been heavily battered, and there was no 
chance of relief. To make assurance doubly sure the English 
worked all night and mounted two fresh guns before sunrise. 
On the morrow about a dozen officers came out with their 
ensigns trailed and surrendered the fort at discretion. Grey 
distributed them among his officers to be held to ransom for 

The mas- their profit. The arms and stores were secured, ' and then,' 
says Arthegal himself, ' put I in certain bands, who straight 
fell to execution. There were 600 slain.' Hooker adds that 



Mackworth and Walter Raleigh were the captains on duty, CHAP. 

and that they superintended the butchery. 1 * . 

The poor Italians had no commissions and were treated The mas 
as filibusters, just as the Spaniards would have treated Drake prov ed by 
had they been able to catch him ; but many blamed Grey, the Q ueen - 
though he does not himself seem to have been conscious that 
he had done anything extraordinary. Sussex was among 
the critics, though he had plenty to answer for himself, but 
the Queen approved of what had been done. At the top of 
the despatch sent in answer to the Lord Deputy's, she wrote 
as follows, in the fine Roman hand which sometimes con- 
trasts so strangely with her studiously involved and obscure 
phraseology : " The mighty hand of the Almighty's power 
hath shewed manifest the force of his strength in the weakness 
of feeblest sex and minds this year to make men ashamed 
ever after to disdain us, in which action I joy that you have 
been chose the instrument of his glory which I mean to give 
you no cause to forethink.' She censured Grey rather for 
sparing some of the principals than for slaying the accessories; 
not for what he had done, but for what he had left undone ; 
for the object was to prevent such expeditions in future. 
Elizabeth, who belonged to her age, probably wondered that 
anybody should object. Nor does it appear that the Catholic 

1 Strype's Life of Cheke, ch. vi. Bingham to Leicester, November 11, 
1580, in Wright's Elizabeth; to Walsingham, November 12; Grey to the 
Queen and to Walsingham, November 12; Anonymous to Walsingham, 
November (No. 27). Bingham says the confusion and slaughter were in- 
creased by the sailors who swarmed in over the sea-face of the fort, but 
Grey makes no excuse. See also G. Fenton to Walsingham, November 14, 
Hooker, Carnden, and Spenser's State of Ireland. The poet expressly says 
that he was present. All the above agree that Grey made no promise, and 
the Four Masters do not materially contradict the English writers, for their 
' promise of protection ' may only refer to the negotiations. O'Daly and 
O'Sullivan, whose accounts seem to have been drawn from the same source, 
and very probably from Sanders, accuse Grey of bad faith ; but they also 
say the siege lasted forty days, and that the English had recourse to fraud - 
because force had failed. Now it is certain that only one clear day elapsed 
between the turning of the first sod and the surrender of the fort. Graia 
fides became a by-word in Catholic Europe, but that would be a matter of 
course, and it is a pity that so great a scholar as O'Donovan should give 
implicit faith to rumour, while scouting as 'mere fiction' the solemn 
statement of such an eye witnes-s as Edmund Spenser. 




on the 

Reasons for 
failure of 
foreign in- 

powers made any official complaint ; it was their habit to do 

Those who condescended to excuse Grey urged that 600 
prisoners would be very inconvenient to an army of 800, and 
that lack of provisions made delay dangerous. But there 
were eight ships of war and four provision-vessels in the 
bay, which might have carried most of the prisoners, and 
enough biscuit, bacon, oil, fish, rice, beans, peas, and barley 
were found in the fort to support 600 men for six months. 
The 4,000 stand of arms taken might easily have been con- 
veyed on shipboard. Between 300L and 400Z. was found 
in Spanish reals, and this money was divided among the 
soldiers, who were in their habitual half-paid state. If the 
Pope recruited for this enterprise, as he did for the former 
one, among the brigands of Umbria and Samnium, there 
would be a reason for treating the rank and file rigorously 
while sparing the officers, but this point is not raised in the 
official correspondence. 

The best defence of Grey, and yet not a very good one, 
is to be found in the cruelty of the age. After the fall of 
Haarlem Alva butchered three or four times as many as 
perished at Smerwick. Santa Cruz put to death the crews 
of several French ships after the fight at Terceira in the 
Azores. It would be easy to multiply examples, but it may 
; suffice to say that Captain Mackworth afterwards fell into 
.the hands of the Offaly O'Connors, who mutilated him 
horribly and flayed him alive. 1 

The Four Masters say that the name of the Italians 
exceeded the reality, and that either Limerick, Cork, or 
Galway would at first have opened their gates to them. 
This is probable enough, and at any rate Smerwick was a 
bad place for their enterprise, for it was hardly to be supposed 

1 The Queen to Grey, December 12, 1580 ; Anonymous to Walsingha^n, 
November (No. 27) ; Dowling ad ann. 1583 ; Maltby to Leicester, May 28, 
1582. The chronology of the Smerwick affair is as follows : Friday, Novem- 
ber 4, fleet enters Ventry harbour ; 5th, moves to Smerwick ; 6th, recon- 
noitring; 7th, Grey shifts camp from Dingle and opens trenches; 8th, 
battery opens ; 9th, battery continued and surrender agreed upon at night ; 
10th, the foreign officers come out, and their men are massacred. 


that England would not have the command of the sea. The CHAP. 

same mistake was made more than once by the French in , ' 

later times, and it may be assumed that Ireland is unassail- 
able except by an overwhelming force. The Spaniards at one 
period, and the French at another, might often have landed 
an army large enough to overtax the actual resources of the 
Irish Government. For a time they might have been masters 
of the country, and would at first have commanded the 
sympathies of the people. But the rule of a foreign soldiery 
would soon become more irksome than the old settled govern- 
ment, and the invading general would find as little real native 
help as Hannibal found in Latium, or as Charles Edward 
found in Lancashire. Had Limerick, Galway, or Cork ad- 
mitted Sanders and his Italians the struggle might have 
been prolonged, but while an English fleet kept the sea, the 
result could hardly have been doubtful. 

The garrison at Smerwick consisted chiefly of Italians, Composi- 
with a contingent from Northern Spain, and the numbers S 
were variously estimated at from 400 to 700. Two hundred garrison 
are said to have been veteran soldiers, but opinions differed 
as to the general quality of the men. Grey, when he saw 
their corpses, mused over them as gallant and goodly per- 
sonages, while Bingham said they were beggarly rascals. 
Among the officers were a few Spaniards, but the majority 
were from Italy : Rome, Florence, Milan, Bologna, Genoa, 
and Bolsena being all represented. 

A few Irishmen who had allowed themselves to be entrapped Execu- 
were hanged, and some women with them. An Englishman tlcns- 
who followed Dr. Sanders, a friar who is not named, and 
Oliver Plunkett, were reserved for a peculiarly hard fate. 
Their arms and legs were broken, and they were hanged on a 
gallows on the wall of the fort. Plunkett, who was examined 
before his death, said that twenty-four sail at Corunna and 
Santander were ready to sail for Ireland. Lord Westmoreland 
was to be sent over by the Pope, and Charles Browne, at 
Santander, was in correspondence with Inglefield and others. 1 

1 The above details are in the letter of November 11 and 12, already 
cited ; the examination of Plnnkett in a letter of the latter date from Grey 
to Walsinghaip. 


CHAP. Not only was the extreme point of Kerry a bad place to 


'- . ' attack Queen Elizabeth, but the fort itself was ill suited for 

Port Del defence. The only water supply was from streams half-a- 
mile off on each side, and the work was too small for those 
whom it had to protect. Its greatest length was 350 feet, 
and its average breadth was about 100, and 50 square feet 
of ground to each person is but scanty room. ' The thing 
itself,' says Sir Nicholas White, ' is but the end of a rock 
shooting out into the Bay of Smerwick, under a long cape, 
whereupon a merchant of the Dingle, called Piers Rice, about 
a year before James Fitzmaurice's landing, built a castle, 
under pretence of gaining by the resort of strangers thither 
a-fishing, whereas in very truth it was to receive James at 
his landing, and because at that very instant time, a ship 
laden with Mr. Furbisher's new-found riches happened to 
press upon the sands near to the place, whose carcase and 
stores I saw lie there, carrying also in his mind a golden 
imagination of the coming of the Spaniards called his building 
Do wn-enoyr, which is as much as to say, the " Golden Down." 
The ancient name of the bay, Ardcanny . . . from a certain 
devout man named Canutius, which upon the height of the 
cliffs, as appears at this day, built a little hermitage to live a 
contemplative there.' 

White's description is very good, but it applies only 
to the little promontory which contains the .salient seaward 
angle of the work, and where embrasures are still clearly 
traceable. The lines on the land side, which did not exist 
at the time of White's visit, are visible enough, being 
covered with roughish pasture, but the ' mariner's trench ' is 
undecipherable owing to tillage. There was a bridge between 
the mainland and the outer rock, and Rice's fortalice was no 
doubt confined to the ' island.' l 

* Sir N. White to Burghley, July 22, 1580. I have heard that Mr. Hen- 
nessy interprets ' Ard canny ' as ' hill of Arbutus,' and without reference 
to any saint. There is a contemporary map of Fort del oro in the Record 
Office, which seems correct, and it is printed on a reduced scale in the Kerry 
Magazine. I insppcted the place and took measurements in June 1883. 
Dun-an oir is the ' earthwork of gold.' Poor F.-obisher's gold was pyrites, 
as the London goldsmiths knew, but an Italian alchemist was believed. The 
'carcase' mentioned by White was that of the ship, not of the owner. 


In the meantime, O'Rourke had risen and attacked CHAP. 

Maltby's garrison at Leitrim. The President had but 400 , ' 

English, half of whom were new-comers and ' simple enough,' con- 
and he had to ferry them over the flooded Shannon in cots. naug t- 
The gentlemen of the county advised him not to face such 
great odds, but 100 of their kerne behaved well, and he put a 
bold face on it. The O'Rourkes and their Scots allies railed 
exceedingly against the Queen and exalted the Pope ; but 
they did not dare to face the dreaded President, and dis- 
appeared, leaving him to burn Brefny at his will. Ulick 
Burke seemed at first inclined to serve faithfully, and Maltby 
was disposed to trust him, but John and William were in 
open rebellion, and their youngest sister begged for protection. 
' I pray you,' she wrote to the President, ' receive, me as a 
poor, destitute, and fatherless gentlewoman. ... I found 
nowhere aid nor assistance, and no friends since my lord and 
father departed, but what I found at your worship's hands.' 
A few days later Ulick styled himself MacWilliam, and joined 
John, who accepted the position of Tanist, in forcibly collect- 
ing corn for the papal garrison. They announced that they 
would hang all priests who refused to say mass, and Maltby 
reported that the papal Bishop of Kilmacduagh was leading 
them to the devil headlong. They demolished Loughrea, and 
most of the castles between the Shannon and Galway Bay. 
Communications with Munster were interrupted, and Maltby, 
self-reliant as he was, began to fear for the safety of Galway, 
where there was no stock of provisions, and no artillery worth 
mentioning. Affairs were at this pass when Grey's success 
at Smerwick reduced the rebellion in Connaught to insig- 
nificance ' 

Grey was not long in Ireland before he encountered the Want of 
great Elizabethan problem of how to make bricks without straw. 
Treasurer Wallop estimated the soldiers' pay at 6,000?. worth, 
exclusive of extraordinaries, and the victualling difficulties were 
as great as ever. The English officials in Dublin seldom gave 

1 Lady Honora Burke to Maltby, October 29, 1580 ; Maltby to Walsing- 
ham, October 25, October 27, and November 17 ; Gerard to Burghley, 
November 27 ; Four Masters. 




Kildare in 
charge of 
the Pale. 

Ormonde a good word, but on this head their complaints chimed 
in with his. The victualler at Cork warned him not to reckon 
on more than twelve days' biscuit and wine, and there were 
no means of brewing at Cork. ' I know,' said the Earl, ' it is 
sour speech to speak of money ; I know it will be also wondered 
at how victuals should want. ... I never had for me and 
my companies one hundred pounds worth of victual, and this 
being true, I can avow that some have told lies at Court to 
some of your councillors yea, not only in this, but in many 
other things.' 

'The soldiers,' said Sir William Stanley, 'are so ill 
chosen in England that few are able or willing to do any 
service, but run away with our furniture, and when they come 
into England there is no punishment used to them, by means 
whereof we can hardly keep any.' 

Meantime there were loud complaints of abuses in purvey- 
ance for the Viceregal household, and the Irish Council could 
think of no better plan than to swear the purveyors, and cut 
off their ears in case of perjury. Wallop reported that bribes 
were openly taken in official circles ; that was the usual 
course, though he had never given or taken any himself. 1 

When Grey went to Munster he.Jeft Kildare to act as 
general in the Pale. With the whole force of the country, 
and with 1,400 men in the Queen's pay, including garrisons, 
he undertook to defend Dublin to the south, and to do some 
service against the rebels. Six hundred men were on the 
Ulster frontier, and these also were to be at his disposal in 
case of necessity. He and his son-in-law, the Baron of 
Delvin, were accused of conspiring to turn the war to their 
own advantage, by promising everything and doing nothing. 
Should the Pope's title prevail, they would be all-powerful ; 
should the Queen be victorious they would at least make 
money out of the business. It was arranged that Kildare 
should have 600 men paid by the country in addition to the 

1 Ormonde to Walsingham and to Burghley, September 28, 1580 ; J. 
Thickpenny to Ormonde, September 27 ; Stanley to Walsingham, October 2 ; 
order by the Lord Deputy and Council, October 3 ; Wallop to Walsingbam, 
Novf-mber 12. 


Queen's troops. He preferred to take the money, and to raise CHAP. 

400 kernes himself; 'but I think,' said Wallop, 'he will put -lA ' 

all that in his purse and three parts of his entertainment of 
his horsemen, and fifty shillings a day for his diet. In this 
town he lieth for the most part, and spendeth not five pounds 
a week, keeping his chamber with a board not anyways an ell 
long.' A civilian named Eustace, ' properly learned, but a 
papist in the highest degree,' was accused of fomenting trea- 
son among the nominally loyal, and Gerard, by remaining ' a 
secret ghostly father to him for a time,' made him fear for his 
own neck, and induced him to give information against many 
persons in the Pale. Maltby took care to remind the Irish 
Government that both Kildare and Ormonde had given security 
for John and Ulick Burke, and that Kildare was the same 
man that he had always been and always would be. It was 
plain that those to whom the conduct of the war was entrusted 
did not care to end it, and that only English officers and 
soldiers could really be depended on. An occasional raid into 
the Wicklow mountains did not advance matters much, and 
Feagh MacHugh was able to burn Rathcoole, a prosperous 
village ten miles from Dublin, and to make the very suburbs 
tremble for their own safety. Kildare made light of the 
burning of Rathcoole, and threw the blame on inferior officers ; 
but this was not the view taken by the Council generally. 1 

When Grey returned to Dublin he found the whole official Kildare is 
circle bent upon disgracing Kildare, and after some days' suspecttd. 
consideration he summoned the general body of nobles to 
meet the Council, ostensibly for the discussion of military 
dispositions. Delvin saw that he was suspected, and vehe- 
mently demanded an enquiry, putting in a written declara- 
tion in answer to rumoured accusations. The full Council, 
including Kildare, found this statement inconsistent with 

1 Wallop to Walsingham, October 9 and 25, and November 27 ; to Burgh- 
ley, November 11, 1580; Waterhouse to Walsingham, October 13; Lord 
Chancellor and Council to the Privy Council, November 3 ; Gerard to 
Burghley, October 18 ; Captain R. Pypho to Walsingham, November 9 ; 
Kildare to Walsingham, December 10. Writing to Wallop, on November 
17, Maltby says of Kildare, ' sicut erat in principio et tel il sera toute sa 
vie.' The letter is a queer mixture of Latin, French, and cypher. 



CHAP, known facts, and^committed him to the Castle. Then Gerard, 
, - ' who had conducted the private investigation, rashly disclosed 
his whole case, and openly accused the Earl of complicity with 
the treason of Baltinglas. Wallop, who believed that no good 
thing could come out of Galilee, observed that the Chancellor 
' would needs have the attorney and serjeant by, who are of 
this country birth, and so were many councillors then present, 
by means of which it is now in every man's mouth what the 
Earl is to be charged with/ 

The Vice-Treasurer adds that his lands were worth 
3,000. a year, but that he had taken good care to return them 
to England as worth only 1,500L, that the only road towards 
good government lay through severity, and that unless traitors 
were made to pay both in person and lands, Ireland would 
always be what it long had been, ' the sink of the treasure 
of England.' Waterhouse, whose office it was to look after un- 
considered trifles of revenue, thought the original cause of war 
was Kildare's military commission, and that treason should be 
made to pay its own expenses. ' I will hear your honour's 
opinion,' he wrote to Walsingham, 'whether her Majesty will be 
content to have her great charges answered out of the livings of 
the conspirators, and to use a sharp and a severe course with- 
out respect of any man's greatness, wheresoever law will catch 
hold, or whether all faults must be lapped up in lenity with 
pardons, protections, and fair semblance, as in times past ; if 
severity, then is there hope enough of good reformation ; if 
mildness, then discharge the army and officers, and leave 
this nation to themselves, for sure the mean will do no good. 
We must embrace one of these extremities.' l 

Kildare Grey could not deny that appearances were strong against 

prisoner! 111 ^6 Earl, and he ordered his arrest, giving full credit for their 
in Eng- exertions to Gerard and Loftus. He believed that ' greedi- 


^? ness of pay and arrogant zeal to Popish government were 

the stumbling-blocks of great personages in Ireland, and that 
Delvin certainly was ' a wicked creature who had cut the 
poor Earl's throat.' As if to add to the suspicion, Kildare's 
son and heir ran off to the O'Connors, and they refused to let 
'Wallop and Waterhouse to Walsdngham, December 23, 1580. 


him ffo when Grey sent for him. At last, fearing the con- CHAP. 


struction that might be put upon this, they handed him over , * 

to Ormonde, and he was shut up in the Castle with his father 

and Lord Delvin. All three were sent over to England, , 

Secretary Fenton carrying the despatches, and Gerard going 
with him to tell his own story. 1 

The capture of Smerwick did not put down the Munster The Mun- 
rebellion; but Ormonde, or some of those about him, con- uon 
temptuously reported that Desmond, his brother, and Bal- on - 
tinglas had ' but a company of rascals and four Spaniards, 
and a drum to make men believe that they had a great 
number of the strangers.' Both Youghal and Ross thought 
themselves in danger, and Wallop reported that communica- 
tions between the capital and Limerick were only kept up by . 
1 simple fellows that pass afoot in nature of beggars, in wages 
not accustomed.' Grey and Ormonde having turned their 
backs, Desmond appeared again near Dingle, and Bingham felt 
that there might be an attack at any moment. Half of 
Captain Zouch's men were dead and buried, the survivors 
being too ill to work or fight. Captain Case's company were 
little better, and they would have made no resistance without 
Bingham and his sailors, who worked with a will and raised 
a breastwork tenable by 20 men against 2,000 kernes and 
gallowglasses. The men were put on short allowance, and 
having thus made the provisions last thirteen days longer than 
they would otherwise have done, Bingham was compelled to 
return to England. His crew were so reduced by spare diet 
that they were unable to work the ship up Channel, and had to 
run into Bristol. He left Ireland, to quote a correspondent of 
Walsingham, ' in as great confusion as the Tower of Babylon was 
a building.' There were more soldiers in Munster than had 
been since the first conquest, and war material was abundant. 
But no two officers agreed with each other personally,' or 
were agreed upon the policy to be pursued. Ormonde was 
in Dublin, looking after his own interests, and leaving his 

1 Grey to the Queen, December 22, 1580; Lord Deputy and Council to 
the Queen, December 23 ; Wallop to Walsingham, December 30 ; White, 
M.E., to Burghley, February 2, 1581. 

a 2 



upon Or 

lieutenants to shift for themselves. Sir Warham St. Leger, 
Chief Commissioner at Cork, claimed superiority over Sir 
George Bourchier at Kilmallock, while the latter acted as a 
captain of free lances and granted protections to whom he 
pleased. Sir William Morgan at Youghal would give way to 
neither, and there seemed no escape from the difficulty but 
once more to appoint an English President, ' upright, valiant, 
severe, and wise.' In the meantime the rebellion was as strong 
as ever, and what the rebels spared the soldiers ravaged. In 
Connaught the young Burkes daily razed houses and fences, 
northern Leinster lay waste, in Munster nothing was left 
standing save towns and cities, and Ulster was ready to break 
out on the smallest provocation. 1 

The English officials all maintained that Ormonde had 
shown himself unfit to conduct the war. One writer estimates 
his emoluments at 2151. a month, and another at 3,677?. a 
year, and the first result of a peace would be to deprive him 
of these comfortable subsidies. He was mixed up with Irish 
families and Irish lawsuits, and could not have a single eye to 
the public service. He owed the Queen over 3,OOOZ. in rents, 
and the war was an excuse for not paying. Nor was his 
system of warfare calculated to finish a rebellion, for all ex- 
perienced officers said that could be done only by settled 
garrisons. He followeth, says his enemy St. Leger, 'with a 
running host, which is to no end but only wearing out and 
consuming of men by travel, for I can compare the difference 
between our footmen and the traitors to a mastiff and wight 
greyhound.' According to the same authority Ormonde was 
generally disliked, and those whom he was set over would 
' rather be hanged than follow him, finding their travel and 
great pains altogether in vain.' He procured the imprison- 
ment of the Baron of Upper Ossory, whom he accused of trea- 
son, of harbouring papists and consorting with rebels, and of 
meeting Desmond after he had been proclaimed ; but Wallop 

1 James Sherlock, Mayor of Waterford to Walsinpham, November 18, 
1580, with the enclosures; Wallop to Walsingham, November 30; Bing- 
ham to Walsingham, December 12 and January 9; John Myagh to Wai- 
simrhnm, January 26, 1581 : White, M.R., to l.urfrhley, February 2. 


thought the Earl coveted his neighbour's laud, being < so CHAP. 

imperious as he can abide none near him that dependeth not ^-1-^, * 

on him.' Spenser's friend Ludovic Bryskett said the Lord - 
General did nothing of moment with his 2,000 men, and as for 
his toil and travel, ' the noble gentleman was worthy of pity 
to take so much labour in vain.' Wallop, Waterhouse, Fenton, "- 
and St. Leger agreed that Ireland could only be pacified by 
severity, and that Ormonde was not the man to do it. But 
perhaps the heaviest, as it is certainly the most graphic, 
indictment was that which Captain Raleigh forwarded to 
Walsingham. 1 

Lord Barrymore's eldest son David, Lord Roche's eldest Adven- 
son Maurice, Florence MacCarthy, PatrickTCondon, and others, 
long professed loyalty because it seemed the winning side. 
But Barry's country lay open to the seneschal of Imokilly, and 
in passing through it Raleigh had an adventure by which the 
world was near losing some of its brightest memories. On 
his return from Dublin, and having at the time only two V^ 
followers with him and as many more within shot, he was 
attacked at a ford by the seneschal with seVenty-four men. 
The place seems to have been Midleton or Ballinacurra, and 
Raleigh's aim was to gain an old castle, which may have 
been Ballivodig, to which his Irish guide at once fled. In 
crossing the river Henry Moile was unhorsed, and begged his 
captain not to desert him. Raleigh rode back into the river, 
and recovered both man and horse ; but in his hurry to 
remount, Moile fell into a bog on the off side, while his horse 
ran away to the enemy. ' The captain nevertheless stood 
still, and did abide for the coming of the residue of his 

1 Notes of Ormonde's entertainments December, 1580 (No. 45); Wallop 
to Walsingham, January 14, 1581 ; to Burghley, May 13; L. Bryskett to 
Walsingham, April 21 ; St. Leger to Burghley, June 3. See also ' Observa- 
tions on the Earl of Ormonde's government,' drawn up probably by Maltby 
and St. Leger, and calendared in Carem at March 1582. For Ormonde's 
quarrel with Upper Ossory see his letter to Walsingham, July 21, 1580 ; 
and to Grey, August 28 ; and Waterhouse to Walsingham, August 13. 
King Edward's old playfellow was six months in prison, and his lands at 
the mercy of the Butlers. He earnestly desired a trial, adding that his 
enemy's hands were perhaps less clean than his ; see his letter to Leicester 
of June 7, 1581, in Care.w. 


CHAP, company, of the four shot which as yet were not come forth, 
, ' and for his man Jenkin, who had about 2001. in money about 

him ; and sat upon his horse in the meanwhile, having his 
staff in one hand, and his pistol charged in the other.' Like 
an Homeric hero he kept the seneschal's whole party at bay, 
although they were twenty to one. Raleigh modestly left 
the details to others, and only reported that the escape was 
strange to all. 1 

Raieigh'a Two days later David Barry was in open rebellion, and 

Raleigh minded to take possession of Barry's Court and of 
the adjoining island the ' great island ' on which Queenstown 
now stands. He had been granted the custody of these lands 
by Grey, but Ormonde interposed delays, and Raleigh, who 
was as fond of property as he was careless of danger, greatly 
resented this. ' When,' he said, ' my Lord Deputy came, and 
Barry had burned all the rest, the Lord General, either mean- 
ing to keep it for himself as I think all is too little for him 
or else unwilling any Englishman should have anything, 
stayed the taking thereof so long, meaning to put a guard of 
his own in it, as it is, with the rest, defaced and spoiled. I 
pray God her Majesty do not find, that with the defence of 
his own country assaulted on all sides, what with the bearing 
and forbearing of his kindred, as all these traitors of this 
new rebellion are his own cousins-german, what by reason of 
the incomparable hatred between him and the Geraldines, 
who will die a thousand deaths, enter into a million of 
mischiefs, and seek succour of all nations, rather than they 
will ever be subdued by a Butler that after her Majesty 
hath spent a hundred thousand pounds more she shall at last 
be driven by too dear experience to send an English President 
to follow these malicious traitors with fire and sword, neither 
respecting the alliance nor the nation. . . . This man having 
been Lord General of Munster now about two years, there 
are at this instant a thousand traitors more than there were 
the first day. Would God the service of Sir Humfry 
'} Gilbert might be rightly looked into ; who, with the third 
part of the garrison now in Ireland, ended a rebellion not 
1 Captain W. Rawley to Burghley, Feb. 23, 1581 ; Hooker in Holinshed. 


much inferior to this in two months.' A little later, Raleigh CHAP. 

reported that he had repaired Belvelly Castle, which com- i , -' 

mands the strait between the island and the mainland, but 
that Ormonde meant to rob him of the fruits of his trouble 
and expense, and to undo what he had done. The soldiers, 
he declared, cursed the change which made them followers 
of the Earl rather than of the Lord Deputy, and spent their 
strength in ' posting journeys ' with convoys to Kilkenny 
instead of in service against the rebels. 1 

Grey yielded to the arguments of those about him, and Ormonde 
announced that there was no help while Irish government 
and Ormonde were continued, adding that neither Walsing- 
ham nor Leicester would believe it. Leicester at least, who 
corresponded frequently with Maltby, was quite willing to 
believe anything against their common enemy, and it may be 
that the present favourite prevailed over the absent friend. 
At all events the Queen yielded, and Grey was allowed to 
tell Ormonde that his authority as Lord Lieutenant of 
Munster was at an end. The Earl submitted cheerfully and 
with many loyal expressions, saying that he would do such 
service without pay as would prove him no hireling. His 
property, he declared, was wasted in her Majesty's service 
and the loss of salary would be therefore great, but to lose 
his sovereign's favour and to be traduced in England was 
far worse. There was now a disposition in high quarters to 
grant pardons freely ; had he known it he could have brought 
in every man in Munster. 

He had thought nothing worth notifying while Desmond 
was still at large, but he would now make a collection of his 
services, and the Queen should see that he had not been 
inactive, and that his activity had not been fruitless. In 
private he had confessed to having borne too long with 
some for old acquaintance' sake ; but blamed Sussex for 
forgetting his friends, and could not excuse Captain Zouch, 
who by sickness had lost 300 men out of 450. Walsingham, 
in a moment of irritation, had said that his appointment had 

1 Raleigh to Walsingham, February 25, 1581 ; to Grey, May 1. 


resulted in the death of only three rebels. Three thousand 

\ \ \ V il ! 

- . - ' would be nearer the mark, and that he was ready to prove. 1 

An am- i'} 16 dismissal of Ormonde was intended by Grey and 


those about him to form part of a policy of the severest and 

most unsparing repression, and it was assumed that Gilbert, 
or some equally uncompromising person, would be appointed 
x President. The Queen, on the other hand, considered it 
merely as a piece of economy, for she determined at the 
same time to grant a general pardon, or as the Lord Deputy 
despairingly put it, to 'Cleave the Irish to tumble to their 
own sensual government.' It was the easiest way perhaps 
for a Lord Deputy ; but he had a conscience, and could not 
see it with equanimity. A considerable number were excepted 
by name, but even on these terms a proclamation of amnesty 
was a confession of failure. The news leaked out pre- 
maturely through the treachery of a servant, and the rebels 
bragged loudly of the revenge they would have when their 
past offences had been condoned. 

The change of policy did not prevent Maltby from 
executing Clanricarde's son William, and he reported to 
Walsingham the opinion of an ancient Irish counsellor 
that her Majesty was only casting pearls before swine. 
Desmond still had 1,600 able men with him, and a brilliant 
night attack by Zouch on his camp, though it was made 
much of, had no particular result. As to Leinster, Grey 
reported it generally rebellious ; but the bogs and woods 
were far smaller than in Munster, and the remains 
of castles showed that Wexford and Carlow at least, with 
the flatter portions of Wicklow, had formerly been well 
bridled. The object of the rebels was to have no stronghold, 
for the open country would be always at their mercy. As 
the Lord Deputy's train passed through Wicklow the 
O'Byrnes showed themselves on the hills and even cut off 
some plate- waggons ; but he made his way to Wexford, 
where he hanged some malefactors, and garrisoned Arklow, 

1 Grey to Leicester, March 20, 1581 ; to Walsingham, May 12, June 9 ; 
to the Privy Council, June 10; Wallop and Waterhouse to Walsingham, 
June 10; Ormonde to Burghley, July 15. 


Castle Kevin, and other places. Grey felt be had done CHAP. 

nothing worth speaking of, and begged earnestly for a recall, . 

since he had been overruled in opposing the amnesty as despair. 
' not standing with the reason which he had conceived for 
her Majesty's service.' Sheer severity, was in fact, all he 
had to recommend, for ( fear, and not dandling, must bring 
them to the bias of obedience .... it is a pity that the 
resolutions in England should be so uncertain. ... If 
taking of cows, killing of their kerne and churls, had been 
thought worth the advertising, I could have had every day 
to trouble your Highness .... He that to-day seems a 
dutiful subject, let him for any of those, or for other less 
crimes be to-morrow called upon to come and answer, straight- 
way a protection is demanded and in the mean he will be 
upon his keeping, which in plain English is none other than 
a traitor that will forcibly defend his cause and not answer 
to justice. . . . Beggars fall to pride, rail at your Majesty, 
and rely only upon the Pope, and that changes shall in the 
end free them. 1 

Just before Ormonde's dismissal became known, his enemy, Death of 
Sir Warham St. Leger, told Burghley that he lost twenty 
Englishmen killed for every one of the rebels. But famine 

and disease succeeded where the sword failed, and in the 

j <d - v ~ 
same letter St. Leger was able to announce that Dr. Sanders 

had died of dysentery. For two months the secret had been 
kept, his partisans giving out that he had gone to Spain for 
help ; but at last one of the women who had clothed him in 
his winding-sheet brought the news to Sir Thomas of Des- 
mond. Since the fall of Fort Del Oro, he had scarcely been 
heard of, and had spent his time miserably in the woods on 
the border of Cork and Limerick. Some English accounts 
say that he was out of his mind, but of this there does not 
seem to be any proof. All agree that he died in the wood of 
Clonlish, and it seems that he was buried in a neighbouring 
church. His companion at the last was Cornelius Ryan, the 

1 Grey to the Queen, April 26, 1581 ; to Walsingham, May 14 ; to the 
Privy Council, June 10 and July 10; Zouch to Walsingham, June 15; 
Maltby to Walsingham, June 30 ; Lord Grey's services, September, 1582. 


papal bishop of Killaloe, and according to O'Sullivan who 
had evidently himself good means of knowing the truth 
the following scene took place : 

' In the beginning of the night, Dr. Sanders, whose natu- 
rally strong frame was worn out by dysentery, thus addressed 
the Bishop of Killaloe, " Anoint me, illustrious lord, with 
extreme unction, for my Creator calls me, and I shall die to- 
night." " You are strong," answered the bishop, " and your 
case is not bad, and I think there will be no dying or anointing 
just now." Nevertheless, he grew worse, and was anointed 
at midnight, and at cockcrow resigned his spirit to the Lord, 
and the following night he was secretly buried by priests, 
and borne to the grave by four Irish knights, of which my 
father, Dermot, was one. Others were forbidden to attend, 
lest the English should find the body, and make their usual 
cruel spectacle of the dead.' 

Sanders had been three years in Ireland. He had brought 
land. upon the country only bloodshed, famine, and confiscation, 

and yet among the starving people, none could be found to 
earn a reward by betraying him. 1 

1 St. Leger to Burghley, June 3, 1581 ; where it appears that Sanders 
died about the beginning of April ; O'Sullivan, lib. iv. cap. 16 ; Four 
Matters, 1581; Camden; Hooker; Holing, S. J., in Sjricileffium Ossoriense, 
i. 94. 




DESMOND, his brother John, and Baltinglas were excepted CHAP. 
by the Queen from the general pardon. Grey himself made J^xxix. 
several further exceptions, not, as he explained, that he wished fr^the " 8 
to remove the hope of mercy, but only that he did not think amnesty 
them cases for pardon without further inquiry. Lady Des- 
mond was excepted, as having encouraged the rebels to per- 
severe, and as having remained with them rather than live 
under protection. David Barry, to whom Lord Barrymore 
had conveyed his lands, and Baltinglas's brothers, Edmund 
and Walter, who were heirs-presumptive to his entailed 
property, were excepted, not only as important rebels, but 
lest the Queen should lose the escheats. Feagh MacHugh 
O'Byrne, ' the minister of all wickedness in Leinster,' refused 
a pardon unless a like were granted to Desmond and his 
brother, and unless ' religion might be at liberty.' Several 
other rebels or plotters were excepted, among whom it is 
only necessary to mention William Nugent, Lord Delvin's 
brother, who had become the leader of a separate conspiracy. 
Perhaps Grey's additions to the list of those whom Elizabeth 
thought unfit for pardon may have wrecked the whole scheme. 
July 17 was fixed as the last day for the rebels to come in, 
and up to that date very few penitents appeared. 1 

While notorious offenders abstained from taking advan- Conspira- 
tage of the Queen's clemency, it was noticed that many TOmet^e 
inhabitants of the Pale, against whom nothing was known, amnest y- 
were eager to accept the pardon. As early as 1575 William 

1 Grey to the Privy Council, July 10, 1581 ; Wallop to Walsingham, 
July 17. 





Maltby in 


Nugent had fallen under the suspicion of the Government, and 
was supposed to have an understanding with Baltinglas from 
the first. He eluded capture during the winter of 1580, and 
in March 1581 it was announced that he had conspired with 
some 300 of the O'Connors and MacCoghlans to raise an in- 
surrection. A few weeks later he fled to Tirlogh Luineach 
O'Neill, who flatly refused to rurrender him to the Lord 
Deputy, when he appeared in person at the Blackwater. In 
the autumn Nugent was back in the Pale, and suing for mercy ; 
but he got no encouragement, and added to the weight of his 
offence by helping the mountain rebels to harry some of the 
Archbishop of Dublin's property. When Baltinglas fled a 
month or two later, he made his way back to Ulster, and 
thence to Scotland and the Continent. A very large number 
of his friends and neighbours were more or less implicated, and 
it is easy to see why so many gentlemen of the Pale were 
anxious to cover themselves by accepting a pardon. 1 

Clanricarde was in confinement at the time of the Snier- 
wick affair, and it is doubtful how far he had the power to 
influence his sons. He persuaded the younger, William, to 
ask for protection, but could not make him observe the 
implied conditions. Maltby granted it only with a view of 
weakening the two elder brothers. In the meantime, and 
no doubt having an understanding with the Earl's sons, 600 
well-armed Scots invaded the province. They were to be 
paid at the rate of 4,200L a quarter, and it was supposed that 
their presence would turn the scale in favour of Richard-in- 
Iron, Grace O'Malley's husband, who claimed to be Lower 
Mac William by popular election only, and against Richard 
MacOliver, who had been made tanist by the Queen. John 
Burke took advantage of the occasion to plan an attack on 
the O'Kellies, and the Scots encamped near Shrule, where 
they engaged to meet the Burkes on the 1st of March. Three 
days before the appointed time, Maltby made his appearance. 
Richard-in-Iron, who had advanced within ten miles of Shrule, 

1 Wallop to Walsingham, March 8, 1581 ; L. Bryskett to Walsingham, 
April 21 ; Grey to the Queen, August 10 ; G. Fenton to Leicester, Septem- 
ber 1 ; and to Burghley, September 21. 


at once drew back into Mayo, and the Clanricarde Burkes, CHAP. 

f .X. A. -A. 1 A 

hearing of the President's movements, never stirred at all. . 

The Scots were surprised, and Maltby, after killing a few, 
drove them before him to the Moy. They crossed the river, 
and he followed, but they made good their retreat into Ulster. 
The President then recrossed, and at Strade Abbey the two 
competitors for the chiefry of Mayo met him. They were 
both submissive enough to Maltby, but not at all polite to 
each other. Kichard MacOliver said Richard-in-Iron was a 
traitor, that all those who elected him were traitors, and that 
he himself would refuse to be Mac William, except by the 
Queen's appointment. The other told him he lied, and the 
President had to remind them that this was very improper 
language to use in the presence of the Queen's representative. 
It was agreed that Richard-in-Iron should be Mac William, 
and that MacOliver should be sheriff of Mayo, receiving 40Z. 
a year out of the chief-rent of his barony of Tyrawley. 1 

About three months later William Burke, though he was Clanri- 
under protection, took to plundering people on the highway, hanged, 
and had even the audacity to offer their goods for sale at 
Galway. He behaved so outrageously that the townsmen 
laid hands on him. Nine of his men were executed by 
martial law, and Maltby held special sessions for the trial of 
the chief offender. The Grand Jury found a bill for treason, 
and the prisoner was then tried and convicted. The verdict 
was considered proof of Burke having violated his protection. 
The Irish annalists insinuate a breach of faith ; but even a 
free pardon would not save a subject from the consequence 
of acts done after its date, and Maltby seems to have been 
legally justified. He refused 1,OOOZ. for the prisoner's life, 
and a like sum for that of Tirlogh O'Brien, a noted rebel who 
was executed two days before. 2 

More than a year had passed since the capture of joim of 
Smerwick, an amnesty had been proclaimed, and yet the 

1 Relation of Sir N. Maltby's proceedings, March 23, 1581. 

2 Maltby to Walsingham, June BO, 1581 ; Four Masters, 1581. From 
Malthj's letter of September 20, it appears that Burghley approved of 
William 1'urke's execution. 


end of the rebellion seemed no nearer. On January 2 a 
spy came to Zouch at Cork to tell him that David Barry was 
at Castle Lyons and might easily be taken. The Governor 
waited till nine o'clock at night, and then set out with a 
hundred men, of whom one-half were mounted. Arriving at 
the castle at daybreak, he found that Barry had not arrived ; 
but in the immediate neighbourhood he lighted accidentally 
upon John of Desmond with three companions. He had been 
sent by his brother the Earl, who himself lay north of the 
Blackwater, to compose a quarrel between Barry and the 
seneschal of Imokilly. So little danger was dreamed of that 
Sir John and his friends rode on ponies and without defensive 
armour. Patrick Condon, a noted leader, and another managed 
to escape, but Sir John was run through with a spear and 
also shot in the throat by one Fleming, who had formerly 
been his servant. James Fitzjohn of Strancally, a cousin of 
Desmond, was taken prisoner. Sir John only survived a few 
minutes, but he was able to say that had he lived longer he 
would have done more mischief, and that Henry Davells was 
never his friend. His body was sent to Cork and hung in 
chains over one of the gates for three or four years, when a 
great storm blew it into the river. The head was sent to Dublin 
as a 'New Year's gift' for Grey, and stuck upon a pole on the 
castle wall. James Fitzjohn was executed, having first con- 
fessed that the Earl was in a sad plight, and lived only by 
eating at night the cows that he had killed in the day. A 
turquoise set in gold was found upon Sir John and was sent 
to the Queen ; his agnus dei, with its glass and gold frame, was 
transmitted to the Earl of Bedford. Having been designated 
as his successor by James Fitzmaurice, who had the Pope's 
authority for so doing, John of Desmond was acknowledged 
as the Catholic leader, and his death was of considerable 
importance. He was a man of ability, and the only person 
lit to manage the turbulent chiefs who had never served, and 
who could therefore never command. 1 

1 Zouch to Burghley, January 5, 1582 ; White Knight to Ormonde, 
same date ; William Wendover to Fenton, January G ; Grey to Walsingham, 
January 13; Russell; O'Daly. 


The rebellion had received a great blow, and if it had CHAP. 


been followed up promptly all would soon have been over. --, ^ 
But the Queen immediately ordered the discharge of 700 parsimony, 
men, making the second reduction of the forces within three 
months. Zouch had now only 400 men at his disposal, and 
disasters of course followed. In March James Fenton, the 
secretary's brother, who had succeeded Captain Apsley in 
West Cork, crossed over from Berehaven with the intention 
of provisioning Bantry Abbey, where he expected to find 
some of his men. David Barry, with a strong party, had 
already cut the detachment to pieces, and lay hidden in the 
building till the first boat landed. The unsuspecting soldiers 
were all killed. Fenton, who followed in another boat, 
turned back when he discovered what had happened. The 
Irish gave chase, but night favoured the fugitive, who landed 
in the darkness, and after three days' ' cold entertainment on 
the rocks,' scrambled back to his castle, badly bruised and 
very hungry, but unwounded. 1 

In April the Baron of Lixnaw joined the rebels, and the Indecisive 
soldiers in Kerry narrowly escaped annihilation. Captain 
Acham and a score of men were killed and the rest closely 
shut up in Ardfert Abbey, where they daily expected to be 
overwhelmed. The presence of a Spanish vessel may have 
determined the action of the Fitzmaurices. There had been 
a similar visitor before the descent at Smerwick, and it was 
thought that another and stronger force was about to fortify 
one of the islands off Baltimore or Castlehaven. Zouch had, 
however, the satisfaction of taking his revenge on David 
Barry. Led by John FitzEdmond of Cloyne, a noted loyalist, 
he surprised Barry in a wood near the Blackwater, and killed 
nearly 100 of his men. The defeated chief sued for protection, 
and Zouch granted it until his return from Kerry, whither 
he immediately hurried, and succeeded in relieving the 
beleaguered men at Ardfert. He then went to the glen of Zouch 
Aherlow, where Desmond himself lay. The rebels were so 
hard pressed that Lady Desmond took to the mountains, hard- 

1 The Queen to Grey, January 28, 1582 ; G. Fenton to Walsingham, 
March 28 ; St. Leger to Fenton, March 24. 




Lady Des- 
mond sur- 



leaving her baggage and female attendants to be captured. 
Zouch's foot could not come up in time, and nothing decisive 
was done. Zouch took it on himself to offer the Earl life 
and liberty, but he demanded the restoration of all his lands 
and possessions. Lady Desmond, however, went to Dublin 
and surrendered to Grey. 1 

Lady Desmond's desertion of her husband was justly 
considered as a sign that he was becoming weaker, but the 
immediate effect was to make him freer in his movements. 
He plundered and devastated the whole of Tipperary, and 
descended the valley of the Suir almost to Waterford. At 
Knockgraffon, near Cahir, he defeated Ormonde's three 
brothers in a fair fight, though the Butlers had greatly the 
superior force. In Kerry he was not opposed at all. The 
seneschal of Imokilly had the eastern part of Cork and the 
western part of Waterford at his mercy, and the estates 
of Lord Eoche were so completely depopulated that settlers 
had afterwards to be brought from a distance. The style of 
warfare may be guessed from the Irish annalists, who remark 
that when Grace MacBrien, the wife of Theobald Roche, ' saw 
her husband mangled, and mutilated, and disfigured, she 
shrieked extremely and dreadfully, so that she died that 
night alongside the body of her husband, and both were 
buried together.' There were but fourteen men fit to 
bear arms left alive in the whole district round Fermoy. 
Ormonde's own house at Carrick was plundered by the 
seneschal. On the whole it was thought that the time had 
not come to show mercy to important rebels, and the Queen 
ordered that Lady Desmond should be sent back to her 
husband, unless she could induce him to surrender un- 
conditionally. Her only son, as she wrote to Burghley, 
' remained in the castle of Dublin, without any kind of 
learning or bringing up, or any to attend on him,' and she 
begged that he might be sent to England as ' the lesser evil 
of the two.' 2 

1 G. Fenton to Walsingkam, May 8, 1582 ; St. Leger to Walsingham, 
and Justice Meade to same, May 28 ; Loftus and Wallop to Walsingham, 
June 7 ; Grey to Walsingham, June 10. 

. 2 M; ilt l.y tn Walsingham, June 17, 1*382; Wallop to Walsingham, June 21; 


r However much the Queen may have been to blame, it CHAP. 

was clear that Grey had not been a successful governor, and 4 ^ 

Burghley had formed a bad opinion of his capacity. He ctdtaL 
had begun with the disaster at Glenmalure, and his bloody 
success at Smerwick had not added much to his reputation. 
Sheer severity was his great resource, and he had made 
enemies on all sides. Yet Sidney had been severe enough, 
and even the children in the streets clamoured for his return. 
( Where,' said Secretary Fenton, ' there is so great an 
antipathy and dissimilitude of humour and manners between 
a people and their governor, then the government cannot be 
carried in just rule and frame no more than a wound can be 
healed which is plied with medicine contrary to its proper 
cure/ The Queen had accused her most successful lieu- 
tenant of extravagance, but she found his successor more 
costly still, and she resolved to recall him. There was no 
great difficulty about this, for he had very often begged to 
be relieved, but it was feared that a bad impression would 
be made in Ireland. Elizabeth therefore determined to send 
for him under the guise of a conference. This resolution 
was quickly acted upon, and Grey surrendered the sword to 
Wallop and Loftus. 1 

The governor of a dependency will always be in some causes of 
measure judged by the state in which he leaves the country Grev>s f;ul - 
that he has been called to rule, and, tried by this standard, 
not much can be said for Grey. The friend and hero of 
Spenser was called, as the poet himself records, ' a bloody 
man, who regarded not the life of her Majesty's subjects no 
more than dogs, but had wasted and consumed all, so as 
now she had nothing almost left, but to reign in their ashes.' 
Sir Warham St. Leger, who certainly cannot be suspected 
of any great sympathy with the Irish people, and who was 

Walsingham to Grey, June 25 ; Lady Desmond to Burghley, August 28 ; 
Lords Justices to the Privy Council, October 12 ; Four Masters, 1582 ; 

1 G. Fenton to Walsingham, November 5, 1581. In a .letter to Wal- 
singham of July 2, 1582, Grey complains that Burghley listens to 
slanderers ; the Queen's opinion, &c., July, No. 76. The sword was delivered 
August 31. 





not hostile to Grey, has left a terrible picture of the state 
of Munster. The country was ruined almost past recovery 
by the ruthless exaction of cess, and by the extortions of the 
soldiers. 30,000 at least had perished by famine within 
six months, and disease also was doing its work. Cork was 
then a small town, consisting of one street scarce a furlong in 
length, yet there were sometimes seventy deaths in a day 
and very seldom as few as twenty. John FitzEdmond of 
Cloyne, one of the few really loyal men in the province, had 
lost nineteen-twentieths of his people, and the cattle, which 
could never graze in safety, were as lean as their masters. The 
only inhabitants in tolerable case were the actual rebels, who 
took freely all men's goods and escaped disease ' by enjoying 
continually the wholesome air of the fields.' And this was 
Grey's settled policy. Five counties were to be laid waste, 
in order that the traitors might be starved into submission. 
1 1 have,' St. Leger said, ' often told the Governor that this is far 
wide from the true course of government,' for the towns would 
waste away, the revenues dwindle, and the whole country be 
exhausted by such a frightful drain. Nevertheless, the 
destruction was nearly as complete as it could be. Nine- 
tenths of the men had succumbed to the sword, the halter, or 
the pestilence. The women escaped better, but, taking one 
thing with another, a competent observer thought there were 
not enough people left alive to cultivate one hundredth part 
of the land. But the most harrowing account of all is the 
oft-quoted passage of Spenser, though the poet lays the 
blame on the people and not on their ruler. At the be- 
ginning of the war, he says, Munster was full of corn and 
cattle. Eighteen months had destroyed all. Lean as were 
the starving people, their legs would not bear them, and they 
crawled out of caves and glens to feed on carrion, or, like 
ghouls, to scrape the dead from their graves, ' and if they 
found a plot of watercresses or shamrocks, there they flocked 
as to a feast for a time, yet not able long to continue there- 
withal, so that in short space there were none almost left, and 
a most populous and plentiful country suddenly left void of 
man or beast ; yet sure in all that was there perished not 


many by the sword, but all by the extremity of famine which CHAP. 
they themselves had wrought.' l - \ ^ 

If Grey was unsuccessful in dealing with Munster, he Rising of 
had at least driven Baltinglas to Spain and crushed the 
abortive rising of William Nugent. Seven persons were 
executed on account of one, and six on account of the other 
movement. Of those who suffered, the most remarkable was 
Nicholas Nugent, late Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, 
who was perhaps actuated by discontent at being removed 
from his place. He was uncle to Delvin and his rebellious 
brother, and the mode of his conviction must have added 
much to the hatred which was generally felt for Grey. Privy 
Councillors were joined in commission with the ordinary 
judges, ' and with them,' said the Lord Deputy, ' I went iii 
person, and sat upon the bench, to see justice more equally 
ministered.' The evidence against Nugent and against 
Edward Cusack, who was tried at the same time, was almost 
wholly that of an informer, John Cusack, who had been one 
of the most active conspirators. Grey blames the prisoners 
for audaciously casting doubts on the evidence of ' this double- 
dyed traitor. A verdict was, however, secured, some of the 
jurors knowing in their private consciences that the prisoners 
were far from that innocency that they pretended.' Nugent 
appears to have died protesting his innocence, though he executed, 
made private admissions to some officials which perhaps went 
to show that he was technically guilty of treason. But these 
admissions were not made until after his conviction, nor in 
open court at all. Baron Cusack, and perhaps another judge, 
was against the verdict. It is to be feared that the extreme 
severity shown was rather because Nugent was a troublesome 

1 Spenser's View of the State of Ireland,. This is one of the many 
passages tending to prove that the original shamrock was the wood-sorrel, 
and not the white clover, which could never have been edible; consult 
Bentham's British Flora under Oxalis, and see below note to chapter 52. 
St. Leger to the Queen, March 12, 1582, to Burghley, April 20; Justice 
Meade to Walsingham, May 28. The soldiers were nearly as badly off as 
the natives, Dowdall to Walsingham, April 24. In the relation of Lord 
Grey's services (September 1582) is mentioned ' the general destruction of 
the enemy's churls,' The churls were the non-combatant country folk. 

ii 2 



of Nugent 
anil his 

person than for anything actually rebellious that he had done. 
Formerly, when a Baron of the Exchequer, he had opposed 
the cess, and had been removed from the bench by Sidney. 
Gerard restored him to a higher place, and from this he was 
driven by Grey. 1 

William Nugent himself underwent the utmost misery. 
He lay in the fields without covering at night, and his friends 
were afraid to attract attention by bringing him as much 
canvas as would make a shelter-tent. His wife the Janet 
Marward, whose abduction has been already related was 
with her mother, Mrs. Nicholas Nugent, but his two boys 
were in his own keeping. Nicholas Nugent might have 
made his peace with the Government had he been able to get 
hold of the eldest ; but William said the brother, wife, and 
child were over many hostages. Give him back his wife, and 
the children should be sent in exchange. The poor mother, 
who was half-crazed with her troubles, supported her step- 
father's request that the child should be given up, in hopes, 
probably, that she might thus see him. All the while John 
Cusack was the active agent who swore in confederates for 
the ' holy cause,' and took the lead generally. William 
ultimately escaped to Scotland, and thence to Italy, and his 
wife, after some delay, was allowed to receive the profits of 
her own property. Ormonde warmly supported her cause, 
and reminded Burghley that she had been married by force. 
The only charge against her was that she had sent some shirts 
to her destitute husband, but she was imprisoned for a whole 
year. ' If any fault were,' it was urged on the Lord Treasurer, 
' the dutiful love of a wife to a husband in that extremity 
may, I trust, procure some remorse towards her in your Lord- 
ship's honourable opinion.' The desire of the informers to 
get her land probably caused the harsh treatment. She was 
at one time on the point of starvation, and yet was accused 
of offering a bribe for her own safety, and fined 500. She 

1 Grey to the Privy Council, April 12, 1582 ; to Walsingham, May 7 ; a 
friend to Mrs. Nugent, July 5, 1583 ; Sidney's Brief Relation, 1583. Sir 
Robert Dillon, who succeeded Nugent as Chief Justice, was much blamed 
for his conduct in this case ; see his letter to Walsingham, June 25, 1582. 



sides wilh 

had, she pleaded, nothing to give, and though she had friends, 
' who perhaps wo aid have given all they had in the world 
rather than see her life lost,' yet they had given nothing with 
her knowledge. 1 

Walter Raleigh was not on good terms with Grey. ' I like 
not,' said the latter, 'his carriage or company, and he has Ormonde, 
nothing to expect from me.' The brilliant adventurer, who 
had now got Burghley's ear, may have been influenced by this, 
but, whatever the reason, he seems to have turned to Ormonde, 
whom he had formerly depreciated. His plan for ending the 
Desmond rebellion was to put the Earl's pardon and restora- 
tion altogether out of the question, and to receive to mercy 
and service all those chiefs who were actuated more by fear 
of him than by disaffection to the Government, such as Lord 
Fitzmaurice, MacDonough of Duhallow, Patrick Condon, and 
the White Knight. 700 men in garrison would do the rest. 
The Earl of Ormonde was to be chiefly relied on for bringing 
back the still rebellious chiefs to their allegiance. Raleigh's 
reasons may be given in his own words : ' There are many 
adhering to Desmond which heretofore was good subjects and 
served against the Earl, and some of them being evil used 
by the English soldiers and having an opinion that in the 
end her Majesty will both pardon and restore the Earl as 
heretofore he hath been, they do rather follow him for fear to 
be hereafter plagued by him, if now they should not follow 
him. And therefore if many of these were privately dealt with 
to return to the service of her Majesty, and to be permitted to 
possess their own countries quietly, and were well persuaded 
that the Earl should never be restored, they would be brought 
to serve her Majesty, &c.' 

The soldiers, he added, if they were to be really efficient, 
should be able to live on their pay, for the certain evils of 

free quarters were worse than the risks of rebellion. This who \* 


1 John Nugent's confession, February 5, 1582; petition to Burghley, 
September (No. 85) ; Ormonde to Burghley, May 30, 1583 ; Janet Nugent's 
petition, August 30 ; warrants for the remission of her fine and for re- 
storation to her property, April 18, 1584. It is stated that the fine was 
imposed on the information of John Cusack. William Nugent left Ireland 
iii or before January 1582. 



CHAP, reasoning prevailed, and Ormonde was appointed governor of 
, I/ Munster, with power to act as Raleigh had advised. 1 

Disorders Ireland could not be held without an army, and that 

of an ill- . , 

paid army was irregularly paid. The consequence was that the 

Queen's peaceable subjects found their defenders more 
burdensome than their enemies. ' I think in conscience,' said 
Bishop Lyons ' (speaking it with grief of heart), amongst 
the heathen there is no such wicked soldiers.' In the Pale 
food and forage were taken without payment, ' every soldier, 
having his boy or woman, would when he came in the after- 
noon have a meal's meat, which they term a " Kusshyinge," 
and then after that his supper, and if the poor people when 
they came offered them such as they had, as bread, milk, 
butter, cheese, or eggs, they would have none of it, but 
would have flesh, and when they found poultry or sheep they 
would kill them, and every soldier would have a quarter of 
that mutton or poultry at his pleasure, with the reversion of 
which he would break his fast in the morning and have 
sixpence for his dinner, for all which they would pay 
nothing, nor captain nor officer give their bill, whereby the 
ordinary allowance might be answered of the country.' 
Men, and even women, were beaten to death, and a great 
part of Kildare lay waste. A proper composition, in lieu of 
cess, and increased pay were the only remedies which the 
Irish Government could suggest. In Munster there was 
scarcely any attempt made to levy a regular cess, but the 
soldiers took whatever they could find. If the mayor or 
citizens of Cork interceded for their miserable neighbours, 
they received such answers as, ' Ye are but beggars, rascals, 
and traitors, and I am a soldier and a gentleman.' Under 
these circumstances it is not wonderful that Desmond's band 
was 1,000 strong, that the rebels reaped the corn every- 
where, and that Captain Smith and his company, who were 
among the worst offenders, were cut to pieces at Ardfert. 
The cattle were swept away at noon from under the walls of 
Cashel. The senechal of Imokilly plundered freely in the 

1 Grey to Walsingham, May 7, 1582 ; Mr. Eawley's opinion, October 25. 
Ormonde's appointment was announced on December 3. 


immediate neighbourhood of Cork, and the mayor pursued 
them in vain luckily, in St. Leger's opinion, for the citizen 
soldiers were fit only to defend walls, and scarcely to do that 
against any serious attack. 1 

Desmond was strong for the moment, but his cruel and Des " d , \ 
impolitic conduct shows that he was a desperate man. Four cruelty. \ 
gentlemen of the Geraldines, who had refused to follow him 
were captured and sentenced by his council of war to be 
hanged. But the Earl said that every Geraldine who failed 
him should be cut in pieces, and called on as many as loved 
him to give the prisoner a stroke of the sword. They were 
accordingly ' cut in gobbets,' in Desmond's presence. He 
attacked the O'Keefes, a loyal clan upon the upper Black- 
water, killed the chief's son and other prisoners, and took 
' the Vicar of Oskallie, and put out upon him a jury of twelve 
of the Earl's men, which jury passed upon him and condemned 
him to death, seeing he was a true subject to her Majesty, 
and held office under her highness always.' Of the whole 
party, O'Keefe . alone was spared, and he was badly 
wounded. 2 

From Maltby in Connaught came the only news which Death of 
could possibly be called good. Old Glanricarde was at last carde, 
liberated about the end of June, and a few weeks later he 
died at Galway of jaundice, aggravated by vexation at the 
sight of his ruined castle and wasted country. With his last 
breath he cursed his sons should they prove disobedient sub- 
jects, and thanked the Queen for her clemency. The young 
men soon came in and professed their willingness to have 
disputes settled according to law, but Secretary Fenton 
observed that it would be "easy to make a civil faction between 
them, and cut off one without disturbing the province. There 
was little difficulty in proving that Ulick, the elder brother, 

1 The Bishop of Koss to the Lords Justices, October 9, 1582, with re- 
marks by the Lords Justices ; Auditor Jenjson to Burghley, September 4 ; 
St. Leger to Burghley, September 22, and to the Lords Justices, September 
26 ; the Portreeve of Cashel to the Lords Justices, September 28. 

2 Letter from Onor Cartye enclosed in one from the Lords Justices to 
"VValsingham, October 3, 1582 ; St. Leger to Burghley and Walsingham, 
September 22. 






was Earl, and the more difficult matter of the lands was 
settled quietly, and with at least some show of amity. Each 
competitor gave a bond in 10,OOOZ. to abide by the award, 
which was based upon the principle of equal division, first 
choice being in some cases given to the Earl. The whole 
barony of Leitrim was given to John absolutely, and the title 
was afterwards conferred upon him. The castles of Portumna 
and Loughrea were awarded to Ulick ; the brothers agreed to 
surrender Ballinasloe to Maltby. The right of some other 
Burkes were defined, and in general terms it may be said 
that the baronies of Dunkellin, Loughrea, and Longford re- 
mained with the Earl, though some parcels were excepted. 
The award was accepted, but the hatred of the brothers was 
of too long standing to be thus appeased, and it was not long 
before it broke out again. 1 

Famine and pestilence continued to rage through the 
summer, autumn, and winter of 1582. All Waterford, 
Limerick, and Cork, and a great part of Tipperary, were 
spoiled. 200 or 300 kine for the public service were as 
much as could be had for love or money. ' The wolf and 
the best rebel lodged in one inn, with one diet and one 
kind of bedding.' Archbishop Loftus being, as Spenser says, 
more mildly disposed, as ' was meet for his profession,' than 
his colleague Wallop, was so horrified that he advised Burgh- 
ley to pardon Desmond. There might, he said, be some 
question of the Queen's honour if the war of Ireland was like 
other wars, between one prince and another, but this was 
against a subject, bare, rude ; and savage. The only honour 
to be had was by healing the sores of the poor subjects. For 
the famine was not confined to Munster, but ran its course 
even in Dublin under the eyes of the Lords Justices. 

A horse of Secretary Fenton's was accidentally burned, 
and was eaten by the people before it was half-roasted. An- 
other of Wallop's died, and was devoured, entrails and all, 
apparently without any preparation. It became, indeed, a 

1 Maltby to VValsingbam, June 21, 1582 ; Clanricarde to Maltby, July 
7; Fenton to Leicester, August 13; to Walsingham, August 23. The 
award is in Carew, under November 17. 


regular thing ' to eat the carcasses of dead horses, and to CHAP. , 
buy them at the soldiers' hands.' The Lords Justices ad- 
mitted that this was a lamentable thing to happen under a 
Christian prince. The Irish, however, they explained, were 
less averse to carrion than other people ; still they could not 
but be grieved that the soldiers should extort money for any 
such wares. The fact is that all were starving alike. 1 

Sir Warham St. Leger, who hated Ormonde and all his St. Leger 

seeks to 

works, attributed the evil state of Munster to the ' cockling treat with 
and dandling of hollow-hearted wretches,' in pursuance of 
the Earl's policy. In the meantime he intrigued for a 
capitulation on Desmond's part. He had taken the Senes- 
chal's natural son a boy of seven ' as like him as if he 
had spit him out of his mouth,' and proposed to hang him in 
case the father should break out again. In the meantime he 
endeavoured to treat with Desmond through his means, but 
the rebel Earl was buoyed up constantly with the hopes of 
aid from abroad. The Countess persuaded him never to write 
anything, for fear of compromising himself with foreign 
princes. St. Leger was authorised to offer him his life, 
restraint without any imprisonment in some part of England 
or Ireland, and hope of further mercy for himself and child ; 
but a full restoration was not to be thought of. There seems 
to have been little sincerity in the negotiation, though doubt- 
less both the Queen and Burghley would have been glad to 
avoid further expense ; and Ormonde, on his arrival, found 

the state of affairs unaltered. St. Leger foretold his failure, and fore- 
tells Or- 
The protectees would fail him, and he would have enough to monde'a" 

do to keep his own. t He is,' he said, ' a person most odious ailure - 
of all men to Desmond's friends. ... It is death to all the 
lords and chieftains of both factions to have English govern- 
ment come among them, for they know that if English 
government be established here, their Irish exactions is laid 
aground ; the which to forego they had as leave die, such is 

1 Barnaby Gooche to Burghley, August 27, 1582; Justice Meade to the 
Lords Justices, October 13 ; Lord Justice Loftus to Burghley, November 6 ; 
Lords Justices to Burghley, December 8 ; Spenser's State of Ireland. 




their devilish consciences.' How true was the prophecy as to 
Ormonde's failure will appear hereafter. 1 

After many delays Ormonde was at last despatched, and 
1,000 men were assigned to be under his orders in Munster. 
He had power to promise pardon to all rebels except Desmond 
himself. His pay and allowances were calculated on a liberal 
scale, amounting in all to over 4,000. a year, and his rents 
due to the Crown were suspended until he should be able to 
make the lands profitable. Much was left to his discretion. 
Thus, rebels who surrendered might have a promise of their 
lands in consideration of a reasonable rent. 300 men were 
sent from Devon and Cornwall, ChesLire and Lancashire, 
Somersetshire and Gloucestershire, to fill up the gaps in the 
Irish garrisons. A large store of provisions was sent ; but, 
on landing, Ormonde found Waterford, Tipperary, Cork, and 
Limerick in such a state that he thought it would not last 
for two months. His personal allowance was fixed at 31. a 
day, but Wallop at once made a difficulty about paying this 
and many other claims. Ormonde, he said, was already too 
great for Ireland, and desired to be absolute in his govern- 
ment. Money no doubt was scarce in Dublin, but the Vice- 
Treasurer was advised to satisfy the Earl's demands. The 
new governor lost no time in preparing for action, but he 
complained bitterly that companies were defective, that troops 
of horse were mounted on borrowed ponies, and that he was 
expected to perform impossibilities. He was ordered not 
to have more than four per cent, of Irishmen in any band ; 
whereas Englishmen could not be had, and the Irish were 
the best shots. 2 

1 St. Leger to Fenton, October 31 ; to the Queen and to Burghley, 
November 26, 1582 ; Burghley to Loftus and Fenton, and to St. Leger, 
December 9 ; St. Leger to Burghley and Walsingham, February 2, 1583. 

2 Earl of Ormonde's demands, &c., November 1582 ; Walsingham to 
Wallop, December 6 ; Burghley to the Lords Justices, December 8 ; Kate 
for 1,000 men to be sent into Munster, December 15; Lords Justices to 
Burghley, January 5, 1583 ; Ormonde to Walsingham, January 27 ; Wallop 
to Walsingham, February 7 and March 6; Minute for the Lords Justices, 
ilarch 5 ; Ormonde to the Lords Justices, March 20. Ormonde left London, 
or Windsor, December 22, and landed at Waterford (via Milford) January 
21, having been long hindered by storms. 


While Munster waited for its new governor,.the Seneschal CHAP. 
of Imokilly made two attempts to get possession of Youghal. > " . *-* 
Just at the beginning of winter, some English soldiers, who defence of 
were probably unpaid, agreed to open the gates; but the You s hal - 
plot was discovered. More than two months later, two gold- 
smiths, who pretended to be soldiers, were admitted into the 
town. On the appointed night one kept the guard drinking 
while the other held a ladder for the assailants, whose plan 
was to occupy every stone house, and to cut it off from the 
gates. Fortunately, the soldiers had only a few days before 
broken down a stair leading from the walls, and thus only a 
few rebels were able to descend at a time. Two houses were, 
however, taken, and held for three days, in one of which the 
seneschal, in cold blood and with his own hands, knocked out 
the brains of six soldiers. Dermod Magrath, Papal Bishop 
of Cork and Cloyne, and ' a very learned man in the papist 
doctrine,' was present, and persuaded him not to kill any 
of the townsmen. The Sovereign, or Burgomaster, Francis 
Agnes (or Anes), behaved with great gallantry, and on the 
rumoured approach of troops from Waterford, the seneschal 
withdrew, having lost some sixty men, but carrying away a 
great quantity of corn, wine, beef, and hides, and leaving 
half the town in ashes. Cork was asked to send men to the 
relief of Youghal, but that city had none to spare, having 
itself been pressed by the rebels, who came up to the very 
walls and carried off the linen which was drying on the 
hedges. One of Ormonde's first cares was to reinforce the 
garrison of Youghal. 1 

In order to put down the Munster rebellion, the first Ormonde 
thing was to localise it. The Queen herself had suggested mond up in 
that if Desmond could be kept out of Tipperary and Waterford, erry ' 
it would be comparatively easy to deal with him, and this was 
the plan adopted by Ormonde. At first he fixed his head- 
quarters at Clonmel, whence the woods of Aherlow were easily 
accessible, and the Seneschal of Imokilly, who lay there, was 
harassed by the garrisons of Limerick and Kilmallock. In a 

1 St. Leger to Burgliley, Oct. 29, 1582, and Jan. 16, 1583 ; and to Wal- 
singham, Feb. 11. 



and his 
fall away. 

Desmond is 
pressed ; 

month after Ormonde's arrival, Desmond fled to the borders 
of Kerry, and his adherents began to desert him fast. Patrick 
Condon and over 300 others received protections, which they 
showed a disposition to pay for with the heads of their late 
comrades. The Baron of Lixnaw submitted about the end 
of March and was followed in a few days by Gerald Mac- 
Thomas, called Toneboyreagh, who had long kept the county 
of Limerick disturbed, and now served well against his late 
associates. About the same time Lady Desmond came to 
Ormonde under a twenty days' protection, but as she still de- 
manded life, liberty, and property for her husband, no terms 
were granted to her. She then surrendered unconditionally, 
rather than return to such misery as she had lately endured. 
Early in June the Seneschal of Imokilly also made his sub- 
mission, and Desmond was thus deprived of his last important 
supporter. The rebellion was now confined to Kerry and 
West Cork, and thither Ormonde repaired about the end of 
June. 1 

A few days before Ormonde's arrival Desmond and his 
wife had a narrow escape from a night attack by the garrison 
of Kilmallock. The bed in which they had lain was found 
warm by the soldiers, into whose hands 'the countess's gentle- 
woman ' and others fell. A fog covered the flight of the two 
principal personages; but cattle, plate, jewels, and wardrobes 
were all captured. The presence of a lady and her attendants 
no doubt acted as a clog, and Desmond himself was becoming 
infirm. The old hurt received at Affane was likely to be 
aggravated by cold and fatigue, and a month later he had to 
be carried in his shirt by four men into a bog, and ferried 
over a river in a trough to escape from a sudden attack by 
Captain Thornton. After this he fled into Kerry, and it 
was reported that he would be glad if possible to escape 
by sea. He was too closely watched for this, but after the 
failure of his wife's mission, he still refused to come to 

1 G. Fenton to Burghley, Feb. 24, 1583 ; Ormonde to the Privy Council, 
Feb. 28 and April 5 ; to the Queen, April 24 ; to the Privy Council and to 
Burghley and Walsingham, May 28; to the Lords Justices, June 15; to 
the Queen, June 18 ; to Walsingham, June 22 ; Thomas Wynne to Wallop, 
April 9. 


Ormonde. The following letter to St. Leger may well be CHAP. 

* , ,\ _\ A 1 A . 

given entire : , ' 

' Sir Warham, where I understand that the Earl of but wil1 

not come 

Ormonde giveth forth that I should submit myself before him to Or- 

___. , ._, znonde , 

as attorney to Her Majesty, you may be sure he doth report 

more thereof than I have sent him either by word or writing. 
But this I have offered in hope to prove the unreasonable 
wrong and injuries done unto me by her Highness's officers 
in this realm from time to time, unguilty in me behalf as God 
knoweth. I am contented upon these conditions so as me 
country, castles, possessions, and lands, with me son, might 
be put and left in the hands and quiet possession of me 
counsel and followers, and also me religion and conscience 
not barred, with a pardon, protection, and passport for me 
own body to pass and repass. I would have gone before her 
Majesty to try all those causes just and true on me part, as I 
still do allege if I might be heard or may have indifference, 
and likewise hoping that I might have more justice, favour, 
and grace at her Majesty's hands when I am before herself 
than here at the hands of such of her cruel officers as have 
me wrongfully proclaimed, and so thereby thinking that her 
Majesty and I may agree ; if not that I may be put safe in 
the hands of me followers again, and I to deliver me son and 
me said possessions back to her Majesty's officers. Dated at 
Feale the 28th of April, 1583. GEROT DESMOND.' 

Ormonde would hear of nothing but an unconditional who in- 
surrender, and continued to ply his double policy of war and uncondi- 
clemency. Before the end of May he could announce that tlol \ al sur " 
134 had been slain, and 247 protected, since those last men- 
tioned. The few remaining rebels were reduced to horseflesh 
or carrion, and Desmond himself knew not where to lay his 
head. He had still eighty men with him, but his pride was 
sufficiently humbled to make him address Ormonde directly. 
He could not, he said, accuse himself of disloyalty, but con- 
fessed that he had been misled, and pleaded that he had been 
tyrannously used. He begged for a conference, 'humbly 
craving that you will please to appoint some place and time 
where I may attend upon your honour.' Ormonde, who was 


CFTAP. justly proud at this falsification of St. Leger's prediction, 

> , ^ would not alter his terms, and a few days afterwards reported 

that the rebel's eighty followers were reduced to twenty. A 
little later, when he was himself marching towards Kerry, 
he learned that the fugitive's retinue consisted of only five 
persons a priest, two horsemen, one kerne, and a boy. The 
people of the South- West had already experience enough of 
an invasion by Ormonde, and hastened on all sides to make 
terms for themselves. There were rumours that the Queen was 
getting tired of the war, and that he would be recalled. He 
was, he said, so confident of success that he was ready to be- 
gin the reduction of the forces under his command. Success 
was very near when he had been removed before, and he begged 
that the mistake might not be repeated. ' Thus,' he said, 
' am I handled, and do break the ice for others to pass with 
ease.' 1 
St. Leger gi r Warham St. Leger did all that he possibly could to 

thwarts Or- J 

monde. thwart Ormonde. Protections to rebels were, he said, bad 
things, which enabled traitors to extort from good subjects. 
Henry VIII., he reminded the Queen, had quieted the Pale 
for years by first making a somewhat dishonourable peace 
with the rebels, ' and then paying them home.' His advice 
was that Desmond should be received to life and liberty. 
' I dare,' he added, ' adventure the loss of one of my arms, 
which I would not willingly lose for all the lands and livings 
that ever he had, he will, within one quarter of a year after 
he is so received (if the matter be well and politically 
handled), be wrought to enter into new treasons, and 
thereby apprehended, and his head cut off according to his 
due deserts.' Any other course would be too expensive. In 
other words, the wretched man was to be lulled into fancied 
security, watched by spies and tempted by false friends until he 
was induced to do something technically equivalent to treason. 
This abominable advice was not taken, happily for Elizabeth's 
honour; but constant detraction was very near shaking 

1 G. Fenton to Walsingham, Jan. 16 ; St. Leger to Walsingham, Feb. 
11 ; Sir W. Stanley to Fenton, May 25; Desmond to Ormonde, June 5; 
Ormonde to Burgh ley and to the Queen, June 18; to Burghley, June 22. 


Ormonde's credit. Wallop and Fenton, who knew the CHAP. 

^T^C^T rv* 

Queen's weak point and who hated the Earl for his in- , ^ 

dependent conduct and position, lost no opportunity of 
showing what a costly luxury her Lord-General was. 
Walsingham urged Ormonde to make a quick end lest her 
Majesty should repent, and he afterwards repeated St. 
Leger's sentiments and almost his very words about the 
impolicy of granting protections. Burghley, however, stood // 
firm, and it was probably through his influence that some of 
St. Leger's letters to the Queen were kept from her eye and 
sent back to Ormonde, who accused his adversary of offering 
to secure mercy for Desmond if he would only hold out until 
the Earl was no longer governor of Munster, and of giving 
out that his supersession was resolved on. Ormonde says he 
heard this from rebels who were likely to know the truth, 
that it was confirmed by a priest who had long been with 
Desmond, and that the latter had thus been ' animated ' to 
hold out although in great straits. Ormonde thought 
Wallop disliked him nearly as much as St. Leger, and the 
Vice-Treasurer's own letters bear out this opinion. 1 

Fate, or Burghley, had, however, decreed that Ormonde Ormonde 
should be allowed to finish the business in his own way, Kerry, 
and the sad story may now be told to the end. There was 
no more fighting to be done, and at the end of June the 
Lord General passed through Tipperary and Limerick into 
Kerry. He visited Castle Island, Castlemaine, and Dingle, a 
principal object of the journey being to prevent Desmond 
escaping by sea. Castlemaine he found roofless and in 
ruins, and that famous hold was never again destined to 
resist the royal power. Clancare, the two O'Sullivans, and 
other gentlemen came to him with assurances of fidelity, 
and not the slightest resistance was offered anywhere. The 

1 St. Leger to the Queen, May Sand Aug. 5 (the latter was intercepted) ; 
to Burghley, Aug. 5 and Oct. 19 ; to Walsingham, Aug. 5, 1583, and Sept. 
14, 1584 ; Ormonde to Burghley, Oct. 20, 1583 ; to the Privy Council, Jan. 
23, 1584 ; to Burghley, Jan. 26, 1584; Walsingham to Ormonde, March 25 
and June 12, 1583; Lords Justices to Walsingham, June 18, 1583; G. 
Fenton to Walsingham, May 30, 1583. The tone of all Wallop's and 
Fenton's letters is unfriendly to Ormonde. 




is driven 
into a 

protected people, lie said, had generally served well, and 
were supported by their friends without charge to the 
Queen. Those who did no service had given hostages, and the 
work of reducing the garrisons might now be at once begun. 
The rebels were weary of the war and were ploughing the 
land ; sword, law, and famine had done their work. In all 
his journey to the farthest point of Kerry, and back by 
Kinsale to Cork, Ormonde had to tell of no enemy but Sir 
Warham St. Leger, ' who dwelleth in Cork Castle to small 
purpose for any good service he doth .... drinking and 
writing (saving your honour) shameful lies.' l 

Early in August St. Leger reported that Desmond had 
crossed the Shannon and escaped to Scotland ; but there was 
no truth in this.* He was confined to that part of Kerry 
which lies north of Castlemaine and to the mountainous 
corner of Cork where the Blackwater rises. Ormonde was 
pretty confident that he would be captured, and none of the 
protected men relapsed except Goran MacSwiney, a captain 
of gallowglasses. Orders were sent to reduce the army in 
Munster from 1,000 to 600, and to prepare, if possible, for a 
further reduction to 200. On the very day that this order 
was penned Lord Roche was able to announce that he had 
very nearly taken Desmond, and that he had actually taken 
his chaplain, who was not so well horsed as the rest. ' I 
would,' Ormonde wrote to Burghley, 'this chaplain and I 
were for one hour with you in your chamber, that you might 
know the secrets of his heart, which by fair means or foul he 

1 Ormonde to Burghley and to Walsingham, July 10, 1583. The nobles 
and gentlemen who came to Ormonde at Cork and gave pledges were as 
follows : Earl of Clancare ; Lords Barrymore, Roche, Kinsale and Lixnaw ; 
Sirs Thomas of Desmond, Owen MacCaithy Reagh, Owen O'Sulli van, Barry 
Roe, Lord Lixnaw's son Patrick, the White Knight, Patrick Condon, the 
senechal of Imokilly, Cormac MacDermot, nephew to Sir Cormac MacTeig, 
Callaghan MacTeig MacCarthy, brother to Sir Cormac MacTeig, O'Sullivan 
More, Donell, nephew to Sir Owen O'Sullivan, O'Donoghue More (inhabit- 
ing in MacCarthy More's country), O'Donoghue of Glenflesk, MacDonogh 
MacCarthy of Duhallow, O'Keefe, MacAuliffe, O'Callagban, MacFynnyne, 
William, brother to the Knight of Kerry, Thomas Oge, senechal of Kerry, 
Donogh MacCragh (a rhymer), and divers captains of gallowglasses of the 
MacSwineys and the MacSheehy's. 


must open unto me.' The poor man was coupled with a CHAP. 


handlock to one of Ormonde's servants, so that no one could 1_^ -^ 

speak to him privately. And thus the hunted chief was 
deprived of his last adviser. 1 

On November 1, Goran MacSwiney was killed, and Or- Death of 
monde proceeded to discharge 110 foot and 12 horse. Even 
yet a few desperate men adhered to Desmond, and he might 
have long eluded his pursuers but for an outrage done in his 
name. On November 9, he sent twenty men on a plundering 
expedition to the south side of Tralee Bay, and they drove off 
forty cows and some horses belonging to Maurice O'Moriarty, 
whose house they robbed, and whose wife and children tney 
barbarously stripped naked. Next day, having first asked 
leave from Lieutenant Stanley at Dingle, the O'Moriarties, 
with near a score of kerne and some half-dozen soldiers of the 
garrison of Castlemaine, traced the lost cattle to the woods of 
Glanageenty, about five miles to the east of Tralee. Owen 
O'Moriarty climbed the hill by moonlight, and looking down 
into the deep glen saw a fire beneath him, which was found 
to proceed from a cabin. The hut was surrounded, and at 
daybreak the O'Moriarties entered. Taken unawares and but 
half-awake, Desmond's companion only thought of escaping, 
and he was left behind and wounded in the arm with a sword- 
cut by a soldier named Daniel O'Kelly. ' I am the Earl of 
Desmond,' he cried, ' save my life ! ' ' Thou hast killed thyself 
long ago,' said Owen O'Moriarty, and now thou shalt be 
prisoner to the Queen's Majesty and the Earl of Ormonde, 
Lord General of Munster.' They carried him some distance, 
but a rescue was imminent, and Owen ordered O'Kelly to 
strike off the prisoner's head, since it was impossible to 
fight thus encumbered. The soldier obeyed, and the head 
was carried to Castlemaine, and from thence to Ormonde 
at Kilkenny. The ghastly trophy was by him sent to the 
Queen. As the best evidence against those who ' spoke 
malicious lies touching the service and state of Munster,' it 

1 St. Leger to Burghley, Aug. 5 and Oct. 19, 1583 ; N. White to Burghley, 
Aug. 24 ; Ormonde to Burghley, Sept. 4 and 23 (the latter enclosing Lord 
Roche's letter) ; Privy Council to Ormonde, Sept. 19. 




a popular 

was exposed on London Bridge. The like exposure at Cork 
waa designed for the headless trunk, but friendly hands hid 
it for eight weeks, and finally deposited it in a neighbouring 
chapel where only Fitzgeralds were buried, and which is still 
called ' the church of the name.' l 

The spot were Desmond was decapitated is marked by a 
mound, and retains the name of Bothar-an-Iarla, or the 
Earl's way. A gigantic elder formerly overshadowed the 
place, and in our own day it is covered by a young oak, a 
holly, and a bright tangle of ferns and foxgloves. A good 
carriage-road runs through the once inaccessible glen, and 
marks the difference between the sixteenth and nineteenth 
centuries. Desmond's death closes the medieval history of 
Munster, and it is no wonder that much legendary glory 
attaches to his name. He was a man of little talent or virtue, 
though he need not be too severely condemned for refusing to 
see that the days of feudal or tribal independence were over. 
But the past has an irresistible attraction for Irish sentiment, 
and the popular ear is more readily opened to fable than to 
historical truth. With nothing heroic about him, the un- 
happy Earl is still honoured as a hero ; but even the fidelity 
of tradition to his memory is less than that of the natives to 
him while he yet lived. Let thus much be said in honour of 
the poor kerne, who stood so staunchly in a doubtful cause. The 
Earl's ghost, mounted on a phantom steed with silver shoes, 
is said sometimes to rise at night from the waters of Lough 
Gur; and when the west wind comes up fitfully from the 
sea and makes slates and windows rattle, the Kerry people 
still call upon travellers to listen to the Desmond howl. 2 

1 I have followed the strictly contemporary account printed by Arch- 
deacon Rowan in the Kerry Magazine (Jan. 1854), and reprinted by Miss 
Hickson in Old Kerry Records. No other account is so full, and it is 
easily reconciled with the Four Masters and with Ormonde's letters printed 
by Mr. Gilbert in vol. iv. of the Irish National MSS , and see Ormonde to 
Walsingham and Burghley, Nov. 28, and Smith's Cork. 

1 The spot where Desmond fell is on the right bank, rather low down 
in the glen. No doubt the cabin where he spent the night was higher up. 
In the survey made by Sir Valentine Browne and others, and privately 
printed by Mr. S. M. Hussey, is the following passage : ' A great wood here 
and there, filled with oak-trees fit for house limber, but not large enough 


for the making of ships and castles. But the greater part of the said wood CH A P. 
consists in underwood of the age of fifty and sixty years, filled with dotted XXXIX. 
trees ash, hazels, sallows, willows, alders, birches, white-thorns and such v ' ' 
like. . . . The wood is called Glanageenty, in which the late Earl of Des- 
mond was slain in his rebellion, containing in length about four miles, and 
in breadth two miles, which said woods, because no woods there are sale- 
able, and they lie under the mountains of Slew-Logher, far from any river 
or navigable stream, are here valued at nil.' I inspected the ground in 
June 1883. 

i 2 




Sir John 
Perrott is 
made Lord 

() Hurlev. 



As early as December 1582, Sir John Perrott had been 
spoken of as Grey's successor. His actual appointment was, 
however, deferred for more than a year, Loftus and Wallop 
continuing to act as Lords Justices till June 1584. They 
were fortunate in seeing the end of the Desmond rebellion, 
but less so in having to deal with those who had been engaged 
in it. Lady Desmond, in her poverty, subsisted upon a 
pension allowed her by Ormonde, until the Queen's pleasure 
should be known ; and the protections which he had given to 
the seneschal of Imokilly, Patrick Condon, and other leaders, 
were respected. Wallop did not like the Lord-General, but 
he did not thwart him seriously. Piers Grace, an old and 
notorious offender in the Kilkenny district, was pardoned at 
the Earl's intercession, and the Lords Justices observed that 
they would not have done it for anyone else. 1 

In 1581, after the death of Fitzgibbon, Gregory XIII. 
appointed Dermod O'Hurley to the Archbishopric of Cashel. 
He had spent fifteen years at Louvain and four at Rheims, 
and he was deeply engaged in the plans of Irish exiles against 
Elizabeth's government. We get a glimpse of him at Rome 
not long after his appointment, and find him, like his prede- 
cessor, occupied in schemes for the invasion of Ireland. The 
caution of the Italian ecclesiastic is, as usual, contrasted with 
the sanguine temper of the exiles. Christopher Barnewall, who 
had been sent to the Continent by Baltinglas, was introduced 
by O'Hurley to Cardinal Como, and informed him that 
Kildare and Delvin were in prison, though both had served 

1 Birch's Memoirs, i. 27; Ormonde to Burghley, Jan. 26,1584; Lords 
Justices to Ormonde, Dec. 31, 1583. 

GOVERNMENT OF PEEEOTT, 1533-1584. 117 

against the Wicklow rebels. ' Who,' said the Cardinal, with CHAP, 
an expressive shrug, ' would trust an Irishman ? The Earl - *^- 
promised to take our part.' O'Hurley thought he had not 
gone so far. ' Wilt thou tell me ? ' answered the Italian His * reat ~ 

merit at 

angrily, and produced a letter from Kildare and a document ^onie. 
signed by most of the Lords of Ulster, Munster, and Con- 
naught, which made his view good. ' Do you think,' he said, 
'that we would have trusted to James Fitzmaurice and 
Stukeley, or to all these lords which subscribed the great 
letter, unless we had received this letter from the Earl of 
Kildare ? The Pope has no money for any of your nation.' l 

O'Hurley landed at Drogheda in September, 1583, bring- O'Hurley 
ing letters from Rome with him. He was harboured by Lord Ireland, 
Slane, whose daughter was married to Ormonde's natural son 
Piers, and in the latter's company he went into Munster after 
a few days' rest. The Archbishop, who was soon hunted 
down, with Ormonde's help, made no secret of having been A 
engaged in the work of the Inquisition, and charged Kildare 
and Delvin with the late insurrection thus showing that 
Barnewall had spoken truly. Walsingham recommended the 
use of 'torture, or any other severe manner of proceeding, 
to gain his knowledge of all foreign practices against Her 
Majesty's states.' The Lords Justices objected that they had 
no rack nor other such instrument of terror, and that the 
Tower of London would be a fitter place for the experiment. 
Walsingham then advised them to toast the prisoner's feet at 
the fire with hot boots. A commission was accordingly 
made out to Fenton and Waterhouse, and the ordeal was 
applied with frightful severity. The letters brought by 
O'Hurley had been intercepted, and could not therefore be 
denied, but nothing of importance was elicited. A letter 
which he had written to Ormonde was produced, and the 
Lords Justices took care to hint at the Earl's complicity, but 
without effect. The lawyers held that an indictment for 
treasons committed abroad would not lie, and in any case a 
trial by jury was not to be risked. The Lords Justices 
suggested martial law, to which, as they grimly observed, the 
1 Second examination of Christopher Barnewall, Aug. 12, 1683. 







fr m 


landless Archbishop could not fairly object. Seeing that 
further torture would be useless Walsingham agreed to this 
course, and noted the Queen's 'good acceptation of their 
careful travail in this matter.' Throughout the correspondence 
it is evident that Elizabeth and all her servants looked upon 
O'Hurley mainly as a traitor and not as a recusant ; and that 
defence of their conduct may stand for what it is worth. The 
torture is indefensible ; but it was only too common in those 
days, and O'Hurley himself had been an Inquisitor. The 
Archbishop was hanged privately in the Castle early on 
June 19, after the arrival of Perrott, but before he had been 
sworn in. 1 

There can be no doubt that the court of Rome had urged 
u P on *kat of Spain the necessity of relieving Desmond. But 
Philip II. was never in time, and his energies, such as they 
were, were absorbed by Portuguese affairs. It was not until 
the final defeat of Strozzi's expedition to the Azores that 
Irish exiles could get their business attended to. The Cardinal 

1 The text is taken from the official correspondence, Lords Justices to 
Robert Beale, Oct. 8, 1583 ; to Walsingham, Oct. 20, Dec. 10, March 7 and 
8, 1684, April 14, and July 9 ; Walsingham to the Lords Justices, April 28, 
1584. It appears from the Catholic accounts that combustibles -were 
poured into the boots. That of the Jesuit Holing, who died in 1599, may 
be taken as contemporary ; it is printed in Spicilegwm, Ossoriense, i. 87. 
' Tormenta nova illi parantur ; nam ejus pedibus atroces hasreticorum 
minibtri ocreas, butiro, oleo, et sale oppletas, ac quod longe crudelius f uit 
crudo ex corio conditas subjecerunt ; postea, vero, catenis simul et com- 
pedibus alligatum, aperto in loco, nempe in medio castri ubi spectaculum 
mundo, hominibus, et angelis ubi ab omnibus videri potuit, lento igne 
apposuerunt, illicque detinuerunt, donee ipso corio consumpto, butiro, 
oleo, et sale f erventibus, ossa non cute pro carne tecta verum etiam omnino 
munda fuerint relicta. . . . Postea in ergastulum et obscurissimum 
carcerem reducitur, et post sex menses tanquam traditor et reus cviminis 
laesse majestatis, ab iniquo judice ad mortem condemnatus est. Ad ex- 
tremum, post inaudita tormenta et carceris molestias, albescente caslo, ne 
forte tumultus fieret in populo qui ejus exemplo, doctrina, et constantia 
permotus ad ejus defensionem perveniret, ignorantibus civibus patibulo 
suspensus martyrium consummavit Dublinii circa annum 1585, mense 
Maio.' Other accounts, which agree in essentials, are collected in Brady's 
Episcopal Succession, ii. 11, 599. The Valicellian MS. there quoted, sajs 
a withen rope was used to protract his agony; but Bacon tells us that 
this kind of halter was generally used in Ireland, and that a rebel objected 
to any other. 

GOVEENMENT OF PERROTT, 1583-1584. 119 

of Como became friendly once more, and sent for William CHAP. 
Nugent almost as often as the post arrived from Spain, say- - 1^ 
ing that he remembered him at every turn of his beads. The 
Pope saw Nugent every six weeks, and the intervals were 
spent in making interest with Gregory's son Giacomo, whose 
influence over the aged Pontiff had become very great. It 
was confidently reported that the whole Spanish fleet would 
sail for Ireland on its return from the Azores, but only two 
ships actually arrived. The papal bishop of Killaloe, Corne- 
lius Eyan, had been sent by Desmond to Spain towards the 
end of 1582. In the spring of 1583 it was announced that 
help was coming, but it may have been delayed until the 
return of Santa Cruz and his fleet. Desmond had been dead 
nearly two months when the tardy succour arrived. Bishop but it is 
Ryan appeared on the west coast with one large ship laden with 
artillery. Another, also with munitions of war, anchored in 
Ringabella Bay outside Cork harbour, and sent a boat, which 
brought off a countryman. Of those on board the chief spokes- 
man was a friar named Shane O'Ferrall, who wept bitterly on 
hearing of Desmond's death. A Spaniard wrote down all the 
particulars. ' Is there none of the Earl's name,' he asked, 
' that will take upon him to follow and maintain that enter- 
prise ? You say none. Well, if any had continued it until 
now, we had brought here to furnish them treasure and muni- 
tion good store, and shortly they should have had more, and 
aid enough.' There were three bags of silver and two of gold, 
each as much as a man could carry. A present was sent by 
O'Ferrall to a lady living close by marmalade, lemons and 
figs, a poignard, and a taffeta scarf and then finding their 
occupation gone, the strangers left the coast. Don Antonio 
and Philip Strozzi had not saved Portugal, but they had de- 
stroyed Spanish influence in Ireland. 1 

Within a week of Desmond's death the newly made 
Baron of Leitrim came to a violent end. Public opinion 
attributed the deed to his brother, and no doubt he profited 
largely by it. Clanricarde himself said that he had inter- 

1 Ormonde to the Privy Council and to Burgliley, Jan. 11, 1584, with 
enclosures ; Wallop to Walsingham, Jan. 21. 





his popula- 

carde is 

cepted a band of traitors in the Baron's company, and that 
he fell in the scuffle. His sister, Lady Mary, clamoured 
loudly for vengeance, but the Earl found means to silence 
her. A competent English observer tells us that ' Sir John 
of the Shamrocks,' as the Irish called him, was the best 
beloved man in Connaught, perhaps in all Ireland. ' He 
was very well spoken, he was courteous, he was liberal to 
every man that had occasion to try him, in his house he was 
very bountiful, and he wrote better than any Irishman whose 
letters I have seen. . . . First he would speak fair to every 
man, and mean no truth to any man that was honest. He had 
always a treasonable mind, and did ever thirst after blood. He 
was betrothed to one woman, and, leaving her, he was married 
to two others ; they are all three alive. He was a common 
haunter of women, and men say he had a child by his own sister, 
and a great maintainer of thieves he was. . . . The Earl will 
not steal from one to give to another. He will not spare the 
offender for any respects ; I mean thieves : other offenders are 
seldom punished in Ireland, and never among the Irish.' 
The Earl offered to prove the incest by irrefutable witnesses. 
The Lord Justice thought the simplest plan was to attribute 
the murder to the mutual hatred between the half-brothers 
since their cradles. They advised that Clanricarde's future 

r good conduct should be secured by a pardon, ' especially in 
those remote parts where so many heinous facts contrary to 
the laws of God and man have been infinitely borne with in 

k all ages.' Three years before, when Clanricarde was ill, it 
was generally supposed that his brother had poisoned him. 
To avoid further confusion the English Government thought 
it better to allow a pardon. The murdered man had no 
legitimate children, and the peerage died with him. This 
long-standing faction fight was now at an end ; the Earl was 
undisputed master over all the possessions of his house, and 
became the mainstay of English law and order in the West. 1 

1 John Browne to Hatton and Walsingham, Nov. 19, 1583 ; Clanricarde 
to the Privy Council, Jan. 31, 1584 ; Lords Justices to the Privy Council, 
March 28, 1584 ; Wallop to Leicester, Jan. 26, 1581, in Wright's Elizabeth. 
The Four Masters bear out Browne's statement as to John Burke's popu- 

GOVEENMENT OF FERROTT, 1583-1584. 121 

The once mighty tribe of the Leinster O'Connors had CHAP. 

fallen very low, but even the miserable remnant could not > , 

keep from internecine war. Teig MacGilpatrick, who led 
one party, was accused by Connor MacCormac of killing 
men who were under protection. Connor retorted that they 
had broken into rebellion since protection was granted. 
The Lords Justices persuaded Connor, and Sir Nicholas 
White persuaded Teig to appear and accuse each other. 
An appeal of treason was thus technically constituted, and 
for this they were told that trial by battle was the proper 
remedy. Fearing, it would appear, that the courage of the 
litigants might ooze away, the combat was fixed for the 
next day. The Lords Justices and Council sat solemnly in 
the inner Castle yard, the display being made more im- 
pressive by a large attendance of military officers. The 
proper ceremonies were observed, and the Lords Justices 
were careful to excuse any possible want of accuracy by 
pleading the shortness of the time. The combatants who 
were allowed only sword, target, and skull-cap, were stripped 
to their shirts and searched by Secretary Fenton himself. 
They then took their seats on two stools at opposite ends of 
the lists, and the pleadings having been read a trumpet 
sounded the onset. Connor, who was wounded twice in the 
leg and once in the eye, attempted to close, but his ad- 
versary was too strong for him. Having stunned and dis- 
armed his accuser, Teig, who was himself seriously wounded, 
' but not mortally, the more was the pity,' cut off his head 
with his own sword and presented it on the point to the 
Lords Justices, one of whom, be it remembered, was the 
Archbishop of Dublin. Fenton sent the sword to Leicester, 
' wishing her Majesty had the same end of all the O'Connors 
in Ireland.' ' We commend,' they said, ' the diligent 
travail of Sir Lucas Dillon and the Master of the Rolls, who 
equally and openly seemed to countenance the champions, 

larity ; see also a damaged paper calendared under Nov. 1583 (No. 99). The 
Earl's pardon passed the Irish Council, June 28, 1584. Lady Mary married 
O'Rourke. 'That honest woman,' Bingham wrote some years later, 'is 
deceased in childbirth ' (to Gardiner, June 10, 1589). 




A second 
trial ROCS 
by default. 

Arrival of 
bis instruc- 


but secretly with very good concurrence with us and be- 
tween themselves for her Majesty's service. 1 

The Lords Justices hoped to make more O'Connors kill 
one another, but a second combat arranged to take place two 
or three days later was frustrated by the non-appearance of 
the accused, a brother of the victorious Teig, who had ac- 
cepted the challenge for him. His adversary. Morrogh-ni- 
Cogge, came into the lists and made proclamation for two 
hours with drums and trumpets. Morrogh was adjudged 
victorious, but the absent man described him as ' readiest to 
fight with those that he knew were farthest off from him.' 
He urged that his brother had no right to promise for him, 
that Morrogh was too base a fellow to place in the balance 
with him, and that he could not be spared until his brother had 
recovered. ' Notwithstanding,' he added, ' when my brother is 
whole of his wounds and able to take charge of his men, if it 
shall please the Lords Justices to call Morrogh and me face to 
face, that I may know upon what ground and quarrel I am 
to fight, I will then make it openly known how little able 
that vain boaster is to stand in my hands, who at the very 
sound of my name was wont to trot over whole countries. 2 

Sir John Perrott was in no great hurry to take up his 
government, and five months elapsed between the date of his 
patent and his arrival in Ireland. It was rumoured in Dublin 
that he would not come at all. In England and in Ireland, 
his choleric temper involved him in frequent quarrels, and it 
is probable that delay was caused by some of these. His 
instructions did not greatly differ from those which Elizabeth 
was wont to give to her representatives. To increase the 
revenue without oppressing the subject, to reduce the army 

1 Lords Justices to the Privy Council, Sept. 12, 1583. Fenton to 
Leicester and Warwick, Sept. 13, in Carem ; Hooker. This is one of the last, 
if not the very last trial by combat in the British Islands. Lord Reay's 
case, in 1631, is in Howell's State Trials, vol. iii., with a minute account 
of the ridiculous ceremonies proper to such a mode of trial ; but in that 
case the fight did not actually take place. 

2 Reasons of Brian MacGilpatrick O'Connor &c. (translated out of 
Irish), Oct. 15, 1583. The brothers seem to have subsided, or as some 
would say risen, into farmers. 



without impairing its efficiency, to punish rebels without i CHAP. 

driving them to desperation, and to reward loyal people n ^- - 

without cost to the Crown these were the usual orders, and j 
they were easier to give than to carry out. Perrott had 
already tasted the misery of Irish official life, and his half- 
brother, Sir Henry Jones, warned him that he would now be 
envied more than ever, and truly prophesied that he would 
never see him again. 1 

The settlement of Munster was, of course, the most im- Perrott aud 
portant part of Perrott's work, and he was probably chosen 
because he knew that province well. He was ordered to take 
)rmonde with him, and to give his opinion due weight. 
The Earl was directed to come to England as soon as he had 
given all the information in his power. Tired of the delay, and 
fearing lest he should be undermined at court, Ormonde slipped 
over to Wales and met the new Lord Deputy, who handed him 
a gracious letter from the Queen. This somewhat reassured 
him, but he complained of hard dealing in being displaced 
before he had made known in England in how good and quiet 
order he had left his late charge. At Carew Castle he re- 
ceived orders to accompany his host to Ireland, and complied, 
though he always hated a sea-passage. He felt that his 
personal interests were safe in the hands of his old companion 
in arms, but thought it a little late to consult him about 
Munster. The journey would only increase his debts, unless, 
as he hinted to Burghley, the Queen made it worth his while ; 
1 but over I will, God willing, and back again, seeing you 
wish it should be so.' 2 

Perrott made a speech to the great crowd assembled at p e .rott 
his installation. He said that the Queen held her subjects 
of Ireland equal with those of England, and that her 
care, as well as his own, was to make them equally happy 

1 The memorial of the Privy Council and the Queen's instructions are 
both printed in Desiderata Curiosa Hibemica ; see also Perrott's Life, and 
Ormonde to Burghley, March 13, 1584. Perrott landed at Dalkey, June 9, 
and was sworn in by Loftus in St. Patrick's on the 21st. 

2 Ormonde to Burghley, March 13, 1584 (from Carrick) ; docquet of 
letter, April 4 ; Ormonde to Burghley, May 19 (from Abermorles) ; June 4, 
(from Carew). 




which is 


respecter of 

governor of 
and Bing- 
ham of 

by means of good government. Among other sayings it was 
noted as worthy of remark, that he wished to suppress 
' the name of a churl and crushing of a churl,' and to substi- 
tute such terms as husbandman, franklin, or yeoman. ' This,' 
says Secretary Fenton, ' was so plausible to the assembly, 
that it was carried from hand to hand throughout the whole 
realm in less time than might be thought credible if I should 
express it.' 

Next day the Lord Deputy ordered a general hosting, 
according to the ancient custom, for six weeks, beginning on 
August 10. Tara was assigned as the place of meeting, and 
Tyrone, Ormonde, Barrymore, and Mountgarret were among 
those who signed the order. Perrott devoted a few days 
to the Council, whose help was necessary to enable him 
to gather up the reins. Fenton found him ' affable and 
pleasing, seeking by good means to recover the hearts of the 
people that were somewhat estranged, quick and industrious, 
careful of her Majesty's profit, sincere, just, and no respecter 
of persons.' Indeed, he did not respect persons enough. 
Wallop, whose office of Vice-Treasurer made him the most 
important man next to the Viceroy, and who had been virtual 
chief governor for nearly two years past, was on the point of 
quarrelling with him at the outset, but forced himself to make 
allowance for the Deputy's passionate disposition. With 
Loftus, who had lately been Wallop's colleague in the govern- 
ment, and who was still Lord Chancellor, Perrott was at open 
war in a very short time. 1 

John Norris, the most famous of Lord Norris of Kycot's 
six good sons, had been appointed Lord President of Munster. 
Bingham, whom Perrott knighted at his installation, was, at 
the same time, made Chief Commissioner of Connaught in 
Maltby's room, but with inferior emoluments. The Lord 
Deputy proposed to settle the two provincial governors in 
their places at once, and to return in time for the hosting at 
Tara. Norris went straight to Munster, and Bingham ac- 
companied Perrott to the West. All the chief men of Con- 

1 Order for a hosting, June 22, 1584 ; Wallop to Walsingham, July 9; 
Fenton to Walsingham, July 10. 



naught and Thomond flocked dutifully to the Viceroy, and 
he decided controversies to their satisfaction. The sheriffs 
maintained great trains of followers, who became a scourge to 
the country, and this abuse was sternly repressed. Clanricarde 
and the rest were ready to make some permanent arrange- 
ment with their tenants, ' so as I,' said Perrott, ' would take 
a time among them to perform it, which, if I have quietness, 
I will do hereafter.' He was not fated to have much 
quietness. Bingham's first impression of his province 
was that the Irish should be won by plausible means. It 
was, he said, their habit to acknowledge their duty to her 
Majesty on the arrival of a new Lord Deputy, ' more for 
fashion than for faithful obedience.' The fashion and the 
want of faithful obedience have both continued to our own 
time. Bingham saw clearly that the Queen's government 
would never be really popular ' the people, for every small 
trifle, are daily suggesting that they are intolerably oppressed 
and extorted upon.' His advice was to keep them down by 
steady but gentle pressure, ' so that by having too little the 
country may not be waste, and by having too much the people 
may not rebel. Nevertheless, my meaning is rather to better 
their estate than to make it worse.' He understood the 
problem, but he was not much more successful than others 
in finding the solution. 1 

John Long, a Cambridge man and a Londoner, was con- State of the 
secrated Primate on the day on which Perrott left Dublin. 
As a special mark of favour the new Deputy had been allowed 
to fill the vacant see. Loftus desired the appointment of 
Thomas Jones, Dean of St. Patrick's, who ultimately suc- 
ceeded him in Dublin. Not much, either good or bad, is 
recorded of Archbishop Long, but he became the chief pastor 
of a most forlorn flock. ' There are here,' says an English 
visitor to Ireland, ' so many churches fallen down, so many 
children dispensed withal to enjoy the livings of the Church, 
so many laymen as they are commonly termed suffered to 
hold benefices with cure, so many clergymen tolerated to have 

1 Henry Sheffield to Burghley, July 12, 1584 ; Memorial for Mr. Edward 
Norris, Aug. 6 ; Bingham to Burghley, Aug. 7. 


CHAP, I the profit of three or four pastoral dignities, who, being 
themselves unlearned, are not meet men, though they were 
willing, to teach and instruct others, as whoso beholdeth it 
must not choose but make it known.' l 
Munster Many of the chief men of Munster came to Perrott at 

thoroughly * . 

cowed. Limerick, and the rest signified their intention of attending 
him at Cork. But news arrived that Scots had landed in 
Ulster, and the Lord Deputy, who liked fighting better than 
anything, turned aside from Limerick, crossed Tipperary, 
and returned by Kilkenny to Dublin. Ormonde and Norris, 
together with all the late rebels whom the Earl had pardoned, 
were ordered to make ready for the northern enterprise. 
Malachi O'Moloney, Papal Bishop of Kilmacduagh, was sus- 
pected of having a hand in the Ulster plot; he came to 
Perrott, renounced the Pope, and took the oath of supremacy; 
but there can be little doubt that this conversion was in- 
sincere. A messenger from Tirlogh O'Neill had certainly been 
in Munster, but found it impossible to stir up the embers of 
the Desmond rebellion. Lord Fitzmaurice told him plainly 
that no one would stir as long as Perrott and Ormonde were 
in Ireland. The Lord Deputy could therefore turn his back 
safely on Munster, and he hastened to Dublin to make 
preparations for repelling what he believed to be a serious 
invasion. 2 

Escheated Far more important than the perennial but limited trouble 

AUmster. with the Scots, was the question of surveying and resettling 
the attainted lands in Munster. In June 1584, a commission 
for the purpose was directed to Vice-Treasurer Wallop, Sir 
Valentine Browne a man of long experience in English 
revenue business, Surveyor-General Alford, and auditors 
Jenyson and Peyton. Their survey began early in Sep- 
tember, and they did not return till the end of November, 
having found a great part of the province waste ; and Kerry 
in particular seemed impossible to re -people except by im- 
portation from England. Sir Valentine Browne, who was an 
elderly man, was active and zealous, but he found the work 

1 William Johnes to Walsingham, July 14, 1584. 

2 Perrott's Memorial for Mr. Edward Norris, Aug. 6, 1584. 

GOVERNMENT OF PEKROTT, 1583-1584. 127 

very hard. ' He hath,' says his colleague the Vice-Treasurer, CHAP. 

' been sundry times bogged, yet hath gone better through > ,J - 

with it than might be imagined so corpulent a man of his 
years would have been able.' Rivers and mountains had to Difficulties 
be crossed, and provisions could hardly be procured at any survey, 
point between Limerick and Dingle. One hundred persons 
fed at the Commissioners' table, who had to supply it on 
credit. Wallop was struck by the great fertility of the land, 
and estimated that the Queen would have a new revenue of 
6,000. within three years. But the difficulty in making an 
accurate survey was very great. It was supposed that land 
worth more than 1,0001. a year had escheated in parts of 
Tipperary, outside of Ormonde's jurisdiction ; but what he 
had once claimed no one dared to inhabit in spite of him. 
The Earl's palatinate was originally a matter of grace and 
favour, but he tried to extend it to the whole county, and it 
seemed doubtful whether any subject ought to be so great. 
The difficulty of arriving at the truth proved even more 
serious than Wallop at first supposed. Many months passed 
without anything being decided, and in the meantime 
Munster was in the utmost misery. Vice-President Norris 
could not prevent his starving soldiers from running after 
his brother into Flanders, and the towns, which truly pleaded 
poverty, could neither be forced nor persuaded to support 
them. 1 

Ormonde, who was in a hurry to get to London, deferred Scots in 


his journey that he might accompany Perrott to Ulster. The 
young Earl of Thomond, who had been educated in England, 
and who lived to be called 'the great Earl,' was glad to 
take part in the expedition. His great object was to have 
the county of Clare acknowledged as part of Munster, and 
freed from the jurisdiction of the Connaught government ; 
and in this he ultimately succeeded. Clanricarde also gave 
his services, and so did Lord President Norris. Perrott had 

1 Wallop to Burghley, Sept. 17, 1584; to Walsingham, Oct. 14 and 
Dec. 4 ; Sir V. Browne to Burghley and Walsingham, Oct. 18 ; to Walsing- 
ham, Dec. 11 ; Waterhouse to Walsingham, Nov. 28 ; Lord Thomond to 
Burghley, July 14, 1585; Vice-President Norris to Perrott, Dec. 30, 1585. 


CHAP. 2,000 trained men with him, besides Irish allies, and he 


' r^ ' thought they would all be necessary. It had been his in- 
tention to govern plausibly, and f to look through his fingers 
at Ulster as a fit receptacle for all the savage beasts of the 
land ; ' but the Scots were said to be 4,000, and there were 
the usual reports about Spanish ships. Norris, who had a 
cooler head than Perrott, afterwards said that he thought the 
Scots were bent ' only on their customary fetching of meat.' 
They took 3,000 cows from Tyrconnell, but their numbers 
were larger than usual. Macleans, as well as MacDonnells, 
were engaged, and the whole movement had probably more 
to do with Hebridean politics than with any intention of 
hurting Queen Elizabeth. The Scots disappeared as quickly 
as they had come, and when Perrott reached Newry, he found 
that no foeman worthy of his steel awaited him. He resolved, 
however, to go on, and to show that Ulster was within his 
reach. 1 

The Scots Secretary Davison was in Scotland at this time, and he 

ridiculed Perrott's fear of Scottish invasion. The obscure 
politics of Isla and Cantire were not well understood even at 
Edinburgh, and the Englishman's judgment may have been 
warped by the contempt which he certainly felt for Arran. 
The whole thing, he said, had been greatly exaggerated. 
But, notwithstanding his opinion and that of Norris, it seems 
clear that the uneasiness among the western clans had some- 
thing to say to the fall of Gowrie, and to Arran's short-lived 
triumph. The islanders would hardly move for king or regent, 
unless they saw some advantage to themselves. Some of 
them at least were paid by cattle taken from the O'Donnells, 
and all were willing to make interest at court if it could be 
done cheaply. Perrott's ships just failed in intercepting the 
Scots at Lough Foyle, and he could only speak from report. 
' Yet truly,' he maintained, ' although they ran away thus 
cowardly, howsoever Mr. Davison was abused by his intel- 
ligence, they were in number little fewer, their training and 
furniture no worse, and their purpose no better, than I wrote.' 

1 Fenton to Burghley, Aug. 19, 1584 ; Perrott to the Privy Council, 
Aug.21 ; Bingham to Walsingham, Aug. 30; John Norristo Burghley, Oct. 16, 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1583-1684. 129 

Tirlogh Luineach was not minded to oppose Perrott, and CHAP. 

he came to him at Newry without pardon or protection. The ^ 

old chiei's adhesion proved of little value, for, like other Irish tn s ter 
leaders before and since, ' the better subject he became, the Insh- 
weaker he waxed, and the less regarded of his followers.' In 
fact he required help against his own people. But O'Cahan 
and the crafty Baron of Dungannon also came in, and Perrott 
proceeded to invest Dunluce Castle. 1 

The legal government of Scotland accepted no respon- Slight con- 
sibility for the raids of Macleans and MacDonnells in Ulster, of the 
Formerly attempts to retaliate on the Hebrides had not been ciua with 
successful, though Perrott wished to repeat them ; but James 
and Elizabeth were at peace, and the Queen was quite justified 
in treating the intruders as filibusters. Whether or not they 
were partly moved by Catholic intriguers in Mary Stuart's 
interest really mattered very little, for they could not in- 
fluence seriously the fate of creeds or kingdoms. But they 
were a constant source of expense, and the officer who dealt 
them a crushing blow would deserve well of his sovereign. 
This honour was, however, denied to Perrott, and reserved 
for Bingham. The Scot who commanded the garrison of 
Dunluce declared that he held the castle for the King of Scots' 
use, and would defend it to the last. He can, however, have 
had no valid commission. The position of this place was at Perrott 


once its strength and its weakness. Situated on a precipitous Dunluce. 
rock rising out of a stormy sea, and connected with the 
mainland by a narrow ledge, it was almost unapproachable by 
any enemy. On the other hand it could scarcely be relieved, 
and it was impossible for the garrison to escape. The fire of 
three pieces converging on the small castle soon made it un- 
tenable, and the forty men whom it contained surrendered at 
discretion on the second or third day. 2 

The MacDonnells had always rested their Irish claims Claims of 
upon their relationship to the extinct Bissetts. The extent Donned, 
of the lands once held by that family was very uncertain ; 

1 Walsingham to Hunsdon, Aug. 24, 1584, in Wright's Elizabeth; Privy 
Council to Perrott, Aug. 31 ; Perrott to Privy Council, Sept. 15. 

2 Perrott to Privy Council, Sept. 15 and 17. 






and X orris 
liL 60,000 

but Sorley Boy never ceased his efforts to get rid of the 
MacQuillins, who had long held the Route, and upon whom 
the garrison of Coleraine habitually depended for provisions. 
Lady Agnes O'Neill, on the other hand, had the Campbell 
instinct for annexation, and endeavoured to set up her own 
son Donnell Gorme Macdonnell against his uncle. As the 
elder brother's son he had perhaps the better legal right ; but 
Sorley was supported by the clan. Tirlogh Luineach was 
under his wife's influence, but had enough to do to hold his 
own against Shane O'Neill's sons, and against the Baron of 
Dungannon. Norris said Tirlogh could do nothing without 
the Queen's help ; but even he seems to have been persuaded 
by Lady Agnes that Sorley's followers resented his tyranny, 
and were ready to leave him. 

After the loss of Dunluce Sorley went to Scotland for help, 
and Perrott agreed that Donnell Gorme should have a grant 
of the Bissetts' lands in consideration of reasonable service. 
Donnell, on his part, undertook to entertain none but Irish- 
born Scots, to book the men of his country and be responsible 
for them, and to serve against his uncle or any other foreign 
Scot. MacQuillin made a contract for victualling Coleraine, 
and O'Donnell, whose wife was Donnell Gorme's sister, made 
a treaty with Tirlogh Luineach, who agreed to maintain 300 
English soldiers and to perform other services. Magennis 
and the Clandeboye O'Neills also made terms, and Perrott, 
finding no enemy in the field, returned to Dublin. 1 

The war being at an end for want of an enemy, Perrott 
thought that Scottish raids could best be prevented by clearing 
the country of cattle. Norris and Ormonde entered Glen- 
conkein, now the south-western portion of Londonderry, but 
then considered part of Tyrone, and 50,000 cattle were 

1 Norris to Burghley, Oct. 16, 1584. The various agreements are in 
Carew, from Sept. 18 to Oct. 7. Perrott returned to Dublin within a few 
days of the latter date. On the 20th he sent Walsingham ' Holy Colum- 
V. ill's cross, a god of great veneration with Sorley Boy and all Ulster. . . . 
When you have made some sacrifice to him, according to the disposition 
you bear to idolatry, jou may, if you please, bestow him upon my good 
Lady Walsingham or my Lady Sidney, to wear as a jewel of weight and 
bigness, and not of price and goodness, upon some solemn feast or triumph 
day at the Court. 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1583-1584. 131 

collected in what was then an almost impenetrable stronghold. CHAP. 

Twenty-five years later Sir John Davies described Chichester's ^- 

march though the district, ' where the wild inhabitants 
wondered as much to see the King's Deputy as the ghosts 

in Virgil wondered to see ^Eneas alive in hell.' The woods The forest 

11 -Tin T i ofGlencun- 

were then said to be among the best in Ireland, and to be keiu. 
as extensive as the New Forest; bat they had been wastefully 
treated, and it was feared that they would soon be exhausted. 
So completely was the work of destruction carried out that 
a report written in 1803 declared the county of Londonderry 
to be the worst wooded in the King's dominions. In the 
sixteenth century a considerable population inhabited Glen- 
conkein, who tilled such portions as were fit for tillage, and 
who looked upon the O'Neills as their superior lords. As 
had been the case in Kerry, fires marked the course of 
Ormonde's march . Norris took much the same view of the 
Ulster problem as Sidney had done. Permanent garrisons 
must be maintained, and this would be the cheapest way in 
the long run. ' Ireland,' he said, ' is not to be brought to 
obedience but by force ; and albeit that some governments 
have been performed with fewer men, yet have these times 
served for nothing but to give breath for a further trouble, 
and then the country ruled by entreaty and not by command- 
ment.' l 

Among the private instructions given to Perrott by the Perrott 
Privy Council was one directing him to consider ' how St. to 'dissolve 
Patrick's in Dublin, and the revenue belonging to the same, 
might be made to serve, as had been theretofore intended,' 

1 Norris to Burghley, Oct. 16, 1584. See also (in Russell and Prender- 
gast's Calendar) Sir John Davies to Salisbury, July 1, 1607, and Aug. 6, 
1608, and the second conference about the Plantation, Jan. 12, 1610 ; and 
J. C. Beresford's report in the Connise View of the Irish Society, p. ccxxii. 
In the Irish ArcJuBological Journal, vol. i. p. 477, Ormonde's contemporary 
panegyrist, who is an unconscious satirist, says : 

Twice he set Glenconkein on fire, 

This wealthy and tender-hearted chieftain ; 
He left no herds around Lough Neagh, 

This seer so provident and bountiful. 

According to O'Donovan (Four Masters, 1526) Glenconkein originally com- 
posed the parishes of Ballinascreen, Desertmartin, and Kilcronaghan. 

K. 2 




dow *r Cn ~ 

for the erection of a college. This old plan of Archbishop 
Browne's had been revived in 1564, and again abandoned in 
deference to the remonstrances of the threatened foundation ; 
but it was very much to Perrott's liking, and he adopted it 
with additions. The dean, Thomas Jones, had just been 
promoted to the see of Meath, and a principal obstacle had 
thus been removed. The Courts of Justice were at this time 
held in the Castle over the powder magazine, but the lawyers 
had also claims upon the house of Black Friars, on the left 
bank of the Liffey, where the Four Courts now stand. Ormonde 
and others had conflicting interests, but the Judges and Bar 
petitioned that they might be otherwise compensated, and 
that the law might be permanently lodged by the riverside. 
This was the plan favoured by the late Lords Justices, but 
Secretary Fenton, with whom Perrott agreed, cast eyes on 
the Friars as a convenient landing-place, and wished to turn 
it into a Government victualling-store. The Lord Deputy's 
idea was to combine the two schemes ; to let the judges sit 
in St. Patrick's church, to convert the residence of the chapter 
into inns of court, and to found a university with the revenues. 
The two cathedrals, he urged, were too near together to be both 
useful, and St. Patrick's was ' held in more superstitious venera- 
tion' than the one named after Christ. He thought 2,000?. 
might suffice for the erection of two colleges, and the surplus, 
which he estimated at about 700?., could go to eke out the 
revenue of Christ Church. ' For the conversion of the whole 
church of St. Patrick,' he told Burghley, ' whatsoever shall 
or can be said to the contrary, it proceedeth from particular 
covetous humour without regard to the general good. I 
could name the sink if I listed whereinto the whole profit 
falleth under the colour of maintenance of a few bad singers.' 
A reformer who begins in this way, though he be a king 
and not merely a viceroy, very seldom succeeds in effecting 
reforms. 1 

1 Sir J. Cusack to Cecil, Feb. 2, 1564 ; Memorial for Perrott in Desnderata 
Citriosa JJibernica ; Fenton to Burghley, Jan. 31, 1584 ; Petition to the 
Judges, Feb. 16; Perrott to Walsingham, Aug. 21 ; and to Burghley, 
Oct. 22. 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1585-1584. 133 

Adam Loftus was fond of money. He begged so un- 
blushingly for himself and his relations, that the chapter of 
Christ Church, on granting one of his requests, made him 
promise, before them all, not to ask for anything more. Even 
this promise he afterwards tried to evade. He was accused 
of jobbing away the revenues of St. Patrick's, and the late 
dean, who was married to his sister-in-law, earned a very 
bad name for wasting the substance of his deanery first, and 
afterwards of his bishopric. One extant deed in particular 
bears Swift's indignant endorsement, made in 1714, as 'a 
lease of Coolmine, made by that rascal Dean Jones, and the 
knaves, or fools, his chapter, to one John Allen for eighty- 
one years, to commence from the expiration of a lease of 
eighty years made in 1583 ; so that there was a lease of 161 
years of 253 acres in Tassagard parish, within three miles of 
Dublin, for 21. per annum . . . now worth 150L, and, so near 
Dublin, could not then be worth less than SOL How the 
lease was surrendered, I cannot yet tell.' 

Loftus was accused of being interested in many such 
leases, and it was said that in defending St. Patrick's he was 
really defending his own pocket. He had been dean himself, 
too, and very possibly he was not anxious for the inquisition 
which must have taken place had the cathedral been dis- 
solved. On the other hand, the Archbishop could give good 
reason why Perrott's plan should not take effect. St. Patrick's, St. 
he said, was the only place in Ireland where a learned man, rescued; 
and especially a learned Englishman, * could, without imminent 
danger, thrust his head.' There were twenty-six dignitaries, 
some of them very slightly endowed, and of these fifteen 
were university graduates. With the exception of one 
bishop, there were no good preachers in Ireland but those 
furnished by St. Patrick's, and amongst them were Dean 
Jones, Thompson, the treasurer, Conway, the chancellor, and 
Henry Ussher, the archdeacon, who lived to be Archbishop 
of Armagh. Of three bishops who could preach, two had though 
been promoted out of St. Patrick's, and Christ Church neither y^^ 
had done nor could do anything in that way. He was ready universit 

J J J in the 

to give what help he could towards the establishment of a attract. 


CHAP, university, but a university could not be maintained long if 
r^- there were no benefices to bestow upon fellows. The pre- 
bends did not depend upon temporalities, but were all 
attached to parishes. Kildare was patron of two, but the 
others were in the Archbishop's gift, and they were all 
opposed to Perrott's scheme. Loftus himself was ready to 
resign rather than leave himself ' a perpetual blot and in- 
famy ' to his successor, for having consented to the destruction 
of his cathedral. Archdeacon Ussher was sent to England, 
Archbishop and Loftus also employed Richard Bancroft, one of the 
prebendaries, to plead the cause of St. Patrick's at Court. 
Bancroft b3came Archbishop of Canterbury, and gained 
lasting fame for his services in connection with the authorised 
version of the Bible, but appears to have resided very little 
in Dublin, though he held his preferment there for at least 
thirty years. 1 

The scheme Whatever may be thought of Loftus's character, his argu- 
Pe'rrott ments on this occasion were good, and Burghley felt them to 
enemies!* 1 ' be unanswerable. The thing could not be done, he said, 
without the consent of the prebendaries, and he asked Perrott 
how he would like to have his own salary diverted to some 
other use. Preaching was necessary as well as teaching, and 
there was no greater abuse in the Church of England than 
the transfer of livings to abbeys and colleges. Tithes had 
been instituted for the service of parishes, and he would never 
do evil that good might come. Perrott answered that the 
idea had not been originated by him, and that his instructions 
from the Privy Council, signed by Burghley himself with 
many others, would have warranted him in proceeding far 
more roughly than he had done. Where he seems really to 

1 Loftus to Walsingham, Oct. 4, 1584 ; and March 21, 1585 ; to Burghley, 
March 18, 1585; Petition of the prebendaries (with enclosures), Dec. 
1584. See also Ware's Bishops, arts. 'Jones' and ' Loftus,' and Cotton's 
Fasti. Writing to Bnrghley, Jan 10, 1585, Loftus says the only great 
abuse was the non-residence of prebendaries, some of them by her Majesty's 
express command, and he proposes to remedy this by calling on them to 
reside, or resign. Bancroft was one of these privileged absentees. For 
Swift's remark see Monck Mason's Hist, of St. Patrick's, book ii. chap. iii. 
sec. 8, where another disgraceful lease made by Jones is also mentioned. 
Loftus was an accomplice in later case. 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1583-1584. 135 

have done wrong was in not showing this order of the Privy CHAP. 

Council to Loftus, and in letting him suppose that he was ?- > f 

acting of his own motion. Even after Burghley had given 
his opinion, he was unwilling to give up the scheme, and the 
Archbishop begged for a letter signed by the Queen herself. 
This was granted, and the royal missive was read to Perrott 
in the presence of Waterhouse and Sir Lucas Dillon. Even 
then the Lord Deputy was not silenced, and the result 
was bitter hostility between the Queen's representative and 
the Chancellor Archbishop, who should have been his chief 
adviser. 1 

While Norris was absent in the North, Sir William Stanley 

* hundred 

governed Munster, and improved the occasion by 300 execu- executions 

tions. ' This,' he said, ' doth terrify them so that a man now 

may travel the whole country, and none to molest him.' The 

Lord President on his return declared the country was waste 

and depopulate. Even malefactors were scarce, and there was 

no chance of resettling the province but by importing people. 

In Connaught Binefham complained that he was denied State of 


means to maintain the strict government necessary for a 
people who were not naturally inclined to civility. He hoped 
nevertheless to increase the revenue in time. From Leinster 
alone was there anything like a good report. The Master Forty- 
of the Rolls went circuit, and 48 prisoners out of 181 were executions 
executed on verdicts found by their own clansmen. Among 
them were two landowners of the Kavanaghs, who had regu- 
larly preyed upon the Barrow navigation, and whose property 
near Leighlin thus escheated to the Crown. White settled 
some dispute between chiefs and sheriffs, and visited Feagh 
MacHugh O'Byrne at Ballinacor, ' where law never ap- 
proached.' Nor was the reconciliation with the notable 

1 Burghley to Perrott, Nov. 6, 1584; loftus to Burghley, June 7 and 11, 
1585. Writing to Burghley on the previous 10th of Jan., Loftus says Fenton 
had dealt earnestly for the overthrow of St. Patrick's. 'After all,' says 
Monck Mason, ' the opposition made by Loftus must be considered as quite 
reasonable. Had the scheme taken effect there would scarcely have re- 
mained a single benefice in the gift of the Archbishop ; the Crown pre 
sented to all the dignities in the other cathedral, and the Chapter to all 
the prebends.'--///*/, of St. J'ati-lt-lt'x, Look i. oh. 14, 


Mac Hugh 
a prose- 
cutor of 

State of 

the Parlia- 
ment of 


partisan altogether hollow. About three months afterwards, 
fifty head of cattle were lifted in the Pale, and ' carried with 
a pipe to the mountain.' Feagh MacHugh followed, brought 
back the cows, and sent three of the reivers' heads to Perrott. 
The piper and another were sent alive, and speedily hanged, 
and O'Byrne declared his willingness to send his own son, 
who had been implicated in the robbery. ' Your lordship,' 
said Perrott, ' perhaps will marvel to hear that Feagh is such 
a prosecutor of theft, and will think it a great change that the 
O'Connors are ready to do good service ; and the O'Mores, 
having put in pledges, do live without doing harm. In 
Munster only one of the Burkes is abroad in Aherlow woods 
with a 20 or 30 swords.' l 

Exhaustion or despair had for a time quieted East, South, 
and West, but the North was still unsubdued, and Perrott felt 
that only permanent garrisons could secure it. He asked 
for 600 men, 25 to be levied in each of the 24 handiest coun- 
ties of England and Wales. In common years the Queen had 
hitherto spent 30,OOOZ. or 40,000/. a year over and above the 
Irish revenue, and the average expense was considerably 
more. If he might have 50,OOOL for three years only, he 
would at the end of them hand over Ireland provided with a 
trained garrison of 2,000 foot and 400 horse, with seven 
walled towns of a mile in circumference, with seven bridges, 
and with seven castles ; and the whole country might then be 
governed infinitely better and more cheaply than it had ever 
been before. He went so far as to write a letter to the 
English Parliament, addressing it as ' most high and noble 
assembly.' The malice of the Pope was urged, and also the 
certainty that foreign princes would again attempt Ireland, 
and make it a noisome neighbour to England. ' Choke up the 
sink at once,' he exclaimed, ' make one charge of all, conceiv- 
ing you do but lend so much upon large interest.' But even 
Perrott was not rash enough to address Parliament without 
Elizabeth's leave, and the despatch was forwarded through 

1 Stanley to Walsingham, Sept. 17, 1584; Norris to Burghley, Nov. 20; 
Sir N. White to Perrott, Sept. 16 ; Bingham to Walsingham, Nov. 24 and 
Dec. 21 ; and to Burghley, Dec. 24 ; Perrott to Burtjhley, Dec. 4. 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1583-1584. 137 

Walsingham, who consulted Burghley and promptly sup- CHAP. 

pressed it. The Queen, they said, would certainly resent ^ 

anyone but herself moving Parliament. She had now resolved 
to help the Dutch, and was the more determined to spare 
treasure in Ireland. No real danger was to be apprehended 
from the Scots, about whom she meant to deal roundly with 
King James. But Perrott was thanked for his services, and The Queen 
some minor requests were granted. A few weeks later, fear- money and 
ing perhaps lest he should be puffed up, she wrote with her i an s ' 
own hand as follows : l Let us have no more such rash, un- 
advised journeys without good ground as your last journey 
in the North. We marvel that you hanged not such saucy 
an advertiser as he that made you believe so great a company 
was coming. I know you do nothing but with a good inten- 
tion for my service, but yet take better heed ere you use us 
so again.' 

He could only reiterate, what seems to have been the 
fact, that thousands of Scots had really landed, and had run 
away before he could reach them. 1 

1 Perrott to the Privy Council, Oct. 25, 1584 ; to Walsingham (enclos- 
ing that to the High Court of Parliament), Jan. 17, 1585 ; to the Queen, 
April 1 ; Walsingham to Perrott, Feb. 1 ; the Queen to Perrott, April 14. 
Perrott's proposed towns were Athlone, Coleraine, Sligo, Mayo, Dingle, 
Lifford, and Newry ; bridges at Coleraine, Lifford, Ballyshannon, Dundalk, 
the Munster Black Water, the Feale, and Kells in Clandeboye ; castles at 
Ballyshannon, Meelick, Castle Martin in the Route, at Gallen in King's 
County, Kilcommcn in Wicklow, and on both the Blackwaters. 




They are 





COLIN CAMPBELL, 6th Earl of Argyle, died in September, 1584, 
leaving his eldest son a minor, and this event added to the 
confusion generally prevalent in the Western Isles. Sorley 
Boy. as usual, contrived to take advantage of the situation, 
and persuaded an assembly of chiefs who met in the island of 
Bute to support his Irish claims. 1,300 Scots, under Angus 
MacDonnell, landed on Rathlin, a much greater number being 
ready to follow, and Sir Henry Bagenal hastily moved from 
Carrickfergus to meet them. The ships which should bave 
co-operated failed to appear, and the Scots attacked him in his 
camp at Red Bay. In spite of the late negotiations Donnell 
Gorme was in command, and it is evident that the islanders 
were not really worsted, though the English officers put a 
good face on the matter. Sir William Stanley was hastily 
summoned from Munster to take charge of Coleraine, and 
Norris was also sent for. Stanley accompanied Bagenal as far 
as Glenarm, and then marched inland to Ballycastle. The 
Scots had threatened to burn Ballycastle, but a skirmish with 
Bagenal proved that they could not do this, and they then 
withdrew in a northerly direction. 1 

Stanley arrived at Ballycastle on New Year's day, with 
two companies of foot, and joined Captain Carleile, whose 
troop of horse were already quartered in Bunamargey 
Abbey. Captain Bow en's company held the fort of Dunanynie 
on a hill to the westward. At eleven o'clock that night the 

1 Perrott to Walsingbam, Nov. 16 and 27, 1584 (with enclosures); to 
Burghley (with enclosures), Jan. 15, 1585. Gregory's Western Highlands, 
chap, iv., where Perrott 's siege of Dunluce, and other matters belonging to 
1584, are placed under 1585. 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1585-1588. 139 

Scots made a sudden attack, set fire to the thatched roof of the CHAP, 
church with brands fixed to the points of their spears, and fell - -r ^ 
upon the infantry encamped outside. Stanley rushed out in 
his shirt and succeeded in rallying the men, but many were 
hurt by arrows. He himself received one in the back, another 
pinned his arm to his side, and a third penetrated his thigh. 
Some horses were burned in the church, and none could be got 
out in time to pursue the Scots, whose enterprise failed in the 
main. But a fleet of galleys from Cantire passed in full view, 
and a very unusual calm prevented the Queen's ships from fol- 
lowing. Stanley sent for reinforcements, and Perrott laid all 
blame on the English Government for not sending the 600 men 
he had asked for. But the real difficulty was to feed the garri- 
sons already established. There was no good harbour. Bally- 
castle Bay is rocky, and everything had to be landed upon 
rafts. Some provision vessels were driven back to Holyhead ; 
others in great danger rode out the gales off Carrickfergus and 
Coleraine, ' where the sea raieeth such a billow as can hardly 
be endured by the greatest ships. And scarce once in fourteen 
days those winter seas will suffer any small vessel to lay the 
ships aboard to unlade the victuals/ Money, as usual, was 
wanting, and the supply service was none of the best. The 
captains were charged 42s. for corslets, which might be 
bought of better quality in any London shop for 25s. or less. 
Useless articles were sent, and whoever else might be to 
blame, Perrott was quite sure that the Master of the Ordnance 
in Ireland deserved hanging. 1 

Sorley Boy found that the garrisons, notwithstanding all s rle ^' B y 
difficulties, were likely to become permanent in Ulster. He c 
was growing old, there had been attempts to dispose of him 
by foul means, and on the whole he thought it would be better 
to make terms for himself. He therefore sought an interview 
with Captain Carleile, and professed willingness to live and 
die a faithful subject of Queen Elizabeth, on condition of 

1 Stanley to Walsingham, Jan. 5, 1585; George Feverley, victualler, to 
Walsingham, Jan. 5 ; to Burghley, Jan. 20 ; Perrott to Walsingham, Nov. 16, 
1581 ; to Burghley, Jan 15, 1585. The Master of the Ordnance was the 
same Jacques Wingfield who so narrowly escaped professional ruin in 1561. 


XLI P ' keing acknowledged as owner of at least a large part of the 

' Bissett estate. He only asked, he said, for such terms as 

Sidney had been willing to grant some ten years before. But 
Perrott preferred strong measures. At first he wished to go 
himself, but the Council dissuaded him, and he even allowed 
Norris to return to his province. The Lord President was 
very angry at being brought to Dublin merely to suit the 
Council's humour, and at having to spend 300Z. in bringing 
up 40 horse and keeping them serviceable. Perrott, he said, 
had never really meant him to go to Ulster. Such honours 
as might be had there he wanted for himself, but he liked 
economising at other folks' expense. The officers stationed 
in the North proved sufficient, and hunted Sorley from place 
to place till he was glad to escape to Scotland. Before 
April 26, no important Scot was left in "Ulster, and Perrott 
was at leisure to meet his Parliament on that day. 1 
Parliament ^ ^ st ^ ^ s Parliament has been preserved, and it is 
the interesting to compare its composition with that held by Sussex 

Lords. in 1 560. The spiritual peers summoned were twenty-six in 
place of twenty, but in both cases it is doubtful how far the 
more distant bishops attended. The temporal peers had in- 
creased from twenty-three to twenty-six, but the earldom of 
Tyrone and the barony of Dungannon were both centred in the 
person of Hugh O'Neill, who petitioned the House for the 
higher title conferred by patent on his grandfather, and whose 
claim was allowed. 2 

rhe House Twenty-seven counties are mentioned instead of twenty 

mons on the former occasion, Connaught being now divided into 

Gal way, Mayo, Roscommon, and Sligo. Cavan, represented 

by two O'Reillys, and Longford represented by two 

O'Ferralls, appear for the first time as shires, and so do 

1 Composition of Lord Deputy and Council with Sorley Boy, Oct. 17, 
1575 ; Sorley Boy to Perrott and to Captain Carleile, Feb. 5, 1585 ; Captain 
Barkley to Perrott, Feb. 26 ; Norris to the Privy Council and Fenton to 
Walsingham, March 7 ; Beverley to Burghley, April 1 ; Perrott to Wal- 
singham, April 24. 

* Lists printed from the roll in Tracts relating to Ireland, vol. ii. p. 134. 
Kildare, who died in England this year, no doubt had his writ of summons, 
b'lt does not seem to have attended. He was ill in London on Aug. 3. 

GOVERNMENT OF PEKROTT, 1585-1588. 141 

Longford and Wicklow. Wexford and Ferns are given as CHAP. 

rn Jxljl. 

separate counties, and Tipperary, reverting to ancient -- , ' 

custom, is divided into the County and the Cross. Ards 
disappears as a separate county. All the shires named 
appear to have made returns. Thirty-six cities and cities and 
boroughs are enumerated instead - of twenty-nine, only 
Carrickfergus and Downpatrick neglecting to make returns. 
Athy is omitted, and Cashel, Inistioge, Dingle, Callan, 
Philipstown, Maryborough, Swords, and Downpatrick are 
added. For some unexplained reason the counties of Cork 
and Sligo returned three knights each. 1 

Besides the O'Reillys and O'Ferralls the house of Represen- 
Commons contained but few of the native race. An O'Brien the Irish 
and a Clancy sat for Clare. Sir Hugh Magennis divided 3 
Down with Sir Nicholas Bagenal, and Shane MacBrian 
O'Neill was returned, but did not attend, as Captain 
Barkley's colleague for Antrim. Among the burgesses we 
find a Shee or O'Shea sitting for Kilkenny, a Gwire or 
Maguire for Trim, a Kearney for Cashel, a Hurley for 
Kilmallock, a Casey for Mullingar, and a Neill or O'Neill 
for Carlingford. John Ffrehan, who was returned for 
Philipstown, was most likely a Celt also. The bulk of the 
members were of old Anglo-Irish race, with a good sprinkling 
of more modern settlers, of officials, and of military officers. 
John and Thomas Norris sat for the counties of Cork and - 
Limerick respectively, Sir Warham St. Leger for Queen's 
County, Sir Richard Bingham forRoscommon, and Sir Henry 
Harrington for Wicklow. Nearly all the chieftains- of Ireland, 
though not actually members of Parliament, obeyed the Lord Irish drefs 
Deputy's summons, and he strictly insisted on English ' 
costume being worn. ' Please your lordship,' said old 
Tirlogh Luineach, 'let my priest attend me in Irish 
apparel, and then they will wonder at him as they do now 
at me ; so shall I pass more quickly and unpointed at.' 2 

Rules were laid down for the conduct of business in the 

1 Lists as above. 

2 Lists as above. Perrott's Life, p. 199; see also a partial list of 
members calendared at May 11, 1586. The four Masters, under 1585, give 
a sort of Homeric catalogue of the chiefs present. 


CHAP. House of Commons. Members were not to wear arms in the 


v_ ,_L^ House, they were to speak standing and uncovered, and only 

tan-pro-"' nce n each reading of a Bill. Freedom of speech was 
sedure. granted, and freedom from arrest for members, their ser- 
vants, and their goods. On the other hand no member was 
to disclose ' the secrets either spoken or done in the House ' 
to any stranger, under such penalties as the Speaker, with 
the assent of the House, should think proper to inflict. One 
rule may seem strange to the present age, in which parlia- 
mentary debate has come to be so largely a matter of flouts 
and gibes and sneers. Every member was enjoined ' to 
frame his speech after a quiet and courteous manner, 
without any taunts or words tending to the reproach of any 
person in the said House assembled.' The first struggle was 
about the election of a Speaker. Nicholas Wai she, Chief 
The ! Justice of Munster and member for the city of Waterford, 

Speaker, ' 

was put forward by Perrott. Ormonde had a very good 

opinion of him, and Perrott, when President of Munster, 
i must have learned his value. The opposition, though strong, 

was fruitless, and Walshe was duly chosen Speaker. 1 
TheParlia- Perrott had not been easily induced to abandon his 
hard to scheme for the dissolution of St. Patrick's. He continued 
mage. to attack Loftus, but nevertheless gave him the chief control 
over the drafting of Bills; and the Chancellor was accused 
of purposely drawing them so as to arouse opposition. 
By Poyning's law, and the Acts explaining it, these Bills 
had to be sent to England and returned after passing the 
Privy Council. If disapproved in this form, they could 
not be amended without sending them to England again. 
Travelling was tedious, Parliaments were short, and thus 
there was a risk that all legislation would be stopped. One 
Bill was for extending to Ireland all the English laws against 
Popish recusants, and this was certain to arouse the fiercest 
animosity. Another contained provisions derogatory to the 
privileges of the peerage. Desmond's Bill of Attainder as 
amended contained eight names instead of twenty times that 

1 Tracts relating to Ireland, vol. ii. p. 143. Ormonde to Burghley, 
Oct. 20, 1583 ; Sir N. White to Burghley, May 27, 1585. 

GOVERNMENT OF PEEROTT, 1585-1588. 143 

number, and made so many reservations that it would have CHAP. 


been almost useless to the Crown. Nearly all the other r-^ ' 

Bills went too far or not far enough, but the difficulty might 

have been avoided by suspending Poyning's Act, as had been 

done in 1537 and 1569. The landowners and lawyers of the 

Pale said that they feared to make the Viceroy despotic, but 

Perrott said that they dreaded all legislation favourable to 

the Crown. The bill only passed the Lords by one vote, of 

which the validity was disputed, Lord Lixnaw having given 

his proxy first to Lord Slane, who opposed, and afterwards 

to Lord Dunboyne, who supported the bill. The Chancellor 

took it privately from Dunboyne, and counted the absent 

peer among the ' contents.' Upon this or some other pretext 

the Commons threw the Bill out on the third reading by a 

majority of thirty-five. Perrott looked upon this check as 

a disgrace to himself and a hindrance to the Queen, and 

prorogued Parliament for a few days. This enabled him to A proroga- 

bring the Bill in again, but it was lost by a reduced 

majority, although Ormonde's friends, who had at first 

opposed, now voted with the ' ayes.' Partly by his rudeness, 

and partly by his determination to prevent jobs, the Lord 

Deputy had made many enemies, and six Englishmen turned 

the scale against the Bill. ' And thus,' said Perrott, ' they have 

not only overthrown the repeal of Poyning's Act, that should 

have set them at liberty to treat of that and all other things 

necessary for this State, but also dashed most of the statutes 

that were penned in Ireland and sent back confirmed from 

England, as, namely, that for the safety of the Queen.' l 

The chief opposition to Perrott's measures came from Agitator*, 
the Pale, and among the leaders were Sidney's old antagonists 
Richard Netterville and Henry Burnell. ' These popular 
fellows,' said Perrott, ' or good countrymen, as they would 
be gloriously termed, have been ever of this humour against 
all governors, and some of them, namely Netterville and 
Burnell, have been in the Tower of London for causes of far 
less moment than this is.' 

1 Sir N. White to Burghley, May 27, 1585 ; Perrott to Walsingham, 
May 30 ; the Poyaing's Suspension Bill is in Caraw, June 1585, No. 578. 




* , ' 

A fair 
system of 

Small re- 
sults of the 

One great cause of opposition was a Bill proposing to 
equalise ploughlands, and to impose a tax of 13s. 4<d. in 
lieu of cess on each ploughland throughout the whole country. 
The Pale had hitherto paid when Irish countries were not 
charged, and the native chiefs were now willing to come 
to an arrangement. But even in the counties which 
had always contributed there were many permanent ex- 
emptions, and still more fraudulent evasions. A new survey 
had thus many terrors, and, as is so often the case, threatened 
interests were more powerful than arguments founded on 
considerations of public policy. The Pale offered a lump 
sum of 1,2002. in lieu of all cess ; but this was far less than 
had always been paid, and Perrott indignantly refused it. 
The chance of making the whole country voluntarily con- 
tribute to the expenses of government was thus unhappily 
lost. The Irish chiefs, who had come prepared to agree with 
the Lord Deputy, now left Dublin in far worse humour than 
they had reached it, and the plan of making them English 
subjects was indefinitely postponed. Religion was at the 
bottom of the whole difficulty, and one of the Pale patriots 
said, in open Parliament, that 'things did prosper in 
Henry V.'s and former kings' times when the mass was up.' 
Perrott was willing and anxious to punish his parliamentary 
opponents, but required orders from home first, ' because 
these kind of people by the mild dealing of England have 
ever found more favour there than hath been for the good of 
this State.' 

Parliament was a second time prorogued on May 25, and 
it did not meet again for eleven months. The only legis- 
lative results of the first session or, more properly speaking, 
of the first two sessions were an Act for the attainder of 
Baltinglas and his brothers, and an Act for the restoration 
in blood of Laurence, the son of the old Geraldine rebel 
James Delahide. A German nobleman who was in Dublin 

1 Perrott to Walsingham, May 30 and June 18, 1585. He believed that the 
opposition would collapse if firmly handled, and that firmness would save 
the Queen's pocket. ' If they escape,' he said, ' farewell to my reputation 
both with Irish and English.' 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1585-1588. 145 

during the session is said to have been much struck by CHAP. 

Perrott's stately appearance at the opening of Parliament. ^-i ' 

He had, he said, travelled through Germany, Italy, France, inth 06 " 
and England, but had never seen anyone so majestic, and & aller y- 
he asked for his portrait to carry home with him. And this 
presence, coupled with substantial fair-dealing, no doubt 
made Perrott popular with the masses and with the Irish 
chiefs. With officials and members of council it was different, 
for they felt the weight of his hand. Had he been as 
courteous as he was anxious for the Queen's service, his fate 
might have been very different. A reformer can never hope to 
be really liked by those who desire the maintenance of abuses ; 
but a soft hand is no less necessary than a stout heart. 1 

The oratorical honours of the session were carried off by Eloqmnce 

of Sir iJolm 

John Norris. Fenton said he would deserve the Queen's Norria. 
special thanks had he done her no other service, and Loftus, 
himself a great preacher, pronounced him to be the best 
speaker in the House, both for force of reasoning and 
eloquence of delivery. But Norris himself had no wish ' to 
be drowned in this forgetful corner,' as he called Ireland, 
almost in the very words of a still more remarkable man 
nearly a century and a half later. He longed to be again in 
the Netherlands, and thought that he could save Antwerp 
with 20,OOOZ. Once lost, it would never be regained. Had 
his advice been taken, Ghent and Bruges might have been 
retained ; but the Walloon provinces were now past hope, 
and the Dutch would have to yield unless they received 
foreign help. His prayer was heard, and a commission to 
his brother Thomas to execute the office of Lord President 
in his absence was signed on the day before the Irish 
Parliament met. Immediately after the prorogation he left 
Dublin, and was in Flanders a few weeks later. 2 

1 Irish Statutes, 27 Eliz. ; Perrott's Life. 

2 Norris to Walsingham, March 3 ; Fenton to Walsingham, May 24 ; 
Loftus to Burghley, May 31. ' I am forced to play at small game to set 
the beasts here a-madding, merely for want of better game. . . . You 
think, as I ought to think, that it is time for me to have done with the 
world ; and so I would, if I could get into a better, before I was called into 
the best, and not die here in a rage, like a poisoned rat in a hole.' Swift 
to Bolingbroke, from Dublin, March 21, 1729. 






again in- 
vaded by 

who sur- 
prise Dan- 

to Per- 
rott's great 

Norris was gone, and Stanley had returned to Munster, 
when the Scots again invaded Antrim in some force. 170 
English soldiers encountered 1,200 Scots and Irish, near 
Carrickfergus, and Perrott again moved to Ulster. He 
approved and confirmed a deed by which Tirlogh Luineach 
handed over the southern half of Tyrone to the newly- 
acknowledged Earl, reserving the northern half to him- 
self, with such tribute as he might be able to collect from 
Maguire and O'Cahan. "Wallop and Loftus, who were left in 
charge of the Pale, saw it was quite impossible for the Lord 
Deputy to keep the Scots at bay without garrisons and for- 
tresses more permanent than the Queen was inclined to pay 
for. Perrott was really of the same opinion, but he persevered 
in the hopeless task. There were, he said, more than 2,000 
Scots in Ulster, combined to set up Shane O'Neill's sons. 
Journeys to the North had always been allowed, and he could 
not see why he, of all Deputies, was to be kept in enforced 
idleness. He did, however, return to Dublin after a short 
absence, for the orders to save money were peremptory. The 
army was almost literally naked, and many soldiers for sheer 
want took service with the Irish. The natural result was 
not long delayed. Perrott had returned to Dublin early in 
September, and on the 1st of November, Dunluce about the 
capture of which so much fuss had been made was once more 
in the hands of the Scots. Peter Gary, the constable, a man 
of English blood and Ulster birth, had but fourteen soldiers, 
of which several were Irish ; and, what was perhaps more 
important, he had a Scotch mistress. Ropes, which are said 
to have been made of withes, were let down at night by two of 
the Irish warders, and fifty Scots climbed over the battlements. 
Gary, whose orders not to keep Irishmen in the fort were 
strict, refused quarter, and he and his English soldiers were 
killed after a desperate resistance. ' I do not,' said Perrott, 
' weigh the loss, but can hardly endure the discredit. As 
things are purposed now any man is fitter for the place than 
I am.' James VI. had promised Perrott to punish his subjects 
as rebels should they again invade Ireland ; but he had not 
the power, nor perhaps the will, to keep his promise. Queen 

GOVERNMENT OF PERKOTT, 1585-1588. 147 

Elizabeth's thoughts were now concentrated on foreign politics, CHAP. 

and economy was her one object in Ireland. It was even ^ 

proposed to disband companies lately raised, and necessarily 
composed of natives, since Englishmen could not be found 
to serve without pay or clothes. ' Thus,' said Wallop, ' have 
we trained and furnished Irishmen to serve the enemy's turn.' 
Walsingham could only say that Perrott might have lived in 
better season under Henry VIII., when princes were resolute 
in honourable attempts. ' Our age has been given to other 
manner of proceedings, whereto the Lord Deputy must be 
content to conform himself as other men do.' l 

Unsuccessful with his parliament, with his council, and Composi- 
with the great men of the Pale, Perrott found the chieftains Con- 
of Connaught still amenable to reason. Ten years before, nau s ht - 
Sidney had found t'hem willing to hold their lands of the 
Queen and to pay rent, but the completion of the contract 
was Perrott's work. The commissioners named were Bing- 
harn as governor, the Earls of Thomond and Clanricarde, 
the Baron of Athenry, Sir Tirlogh O'Brien, Sir Richard 
Burke of Mayo, O'Connor Sligo, O'Rourke, O'Flaherty, and 
others, and they proposed that the Queen should have a quit 
rent of 10s. a quarter out of all arable and pasture land in 
Connaught and Clare. There were to be no other exactions 
except certain days' labour for fortifications or other public 
buildings. Contributions of horse and foot on warlike occasions 
were to be matter of special agreement. Anxious for peace 
among themselves and convinced that they could not make 
head against the State, the chiefs agreed to these terms, in 
the hopes of obtaining a firm and just government. To make 
things pleasant, some special privileges were granted to a 
few important people, and it was calculated that a revenue of 
rather less than 4,OOOL a year would be secured to the Crown. 
Less than one-third of the whole soil was really included in 
this settlement ; waste lands, water, and fraudulent conceal- 

1 Perrott's Life ; James VI. to Perrott, Aug. 8, in Carew ; Perrott to Wal- 
singham, Aug. 10 and Nov. It ; to Burghley, Sept. 8 and 24 ; Sir H. Bagenal 
to Perrott, Sept. 3 ; Wallop to Burghley and Walsingham, Nov. 18 ; Wal- 
singham to Archbishop Long, Dec. 

L 2 





His tra- 

ments will account for the rest. The plan of the composition 
was good, but the result did not fulfil Perrott's expectation. 
In so extensive an area many were dissatisfied with their lot, 
and the Government was neither strong enough nor steady 
enough to enforce order among a rude people. 1 

Perrott claimed to be a careful husband of the Queen's 
resources, and rather ostentatiously professed his contempt 
for the interested criticism of others. But Elizabeth's par- 
simony increased with her years, and she was only too ready 
to listen to those who told her she was being robbed. She 
directed a stringent inquiry into the revenue, suggesting that 
arrears had been allowed to accumulate, that improper con- 
cessions had been granted, that crown leases had been given 
without due inquiry, that personal allowances had been made 
without exacting service in return, and in short that every- 
one's interests had been regarded but her own. ' It is not 
meant,' she said, ' that the possession of lands and chattels 
lately escheated by rebellion should be in the power and 
authority of the Lord Deputy, but to be stayed at her 
Majesty's will and pleasure.' This and other similar hints 
cut Perrott to the quick. No doubt his despotic temper 
sometimes induced him to overstep the bounds of strict law, 
and his enemies were always on the watch. He was accused 
of making money unfairly out of household and table allow- 
ances. It was said that his accounts showed annual liveries, 
whereas they were in reality biennial ; he allowed no fires 
even in bitter February weather, and there was no good 
cheer in the Castle. ' I had little thought,' he indignantly 
exclaimed, 'that any part of her Highness's honour had 
depended on my supper. I am sorry that men's eyes are so 

1 Composition Book of Connaught and Thomond, Oct. 3. Details may 
be studied in the appendix to Hardiman's edition of O'Flaberty's West 
Connaught. As to the measurement it may be observed that Clare, to take 
one county as an example, is estimated at 1,260 quarters. Making allow- 
ance for the difference between Irish and English measure, this gives 
rather less than 250,000 statute acres for all Clare. The real area is about 
828,000 acres. The gross acreage of all Connaught and Clare is about five 
millions and a quarter, and a rental of 4,0007. gives much less tlian a farth- 
ing per acre. 


narrowly bent on my diet, and I doubt will watch my up- CHAP, 
rising and downlying too.' He had always provided supper - I-,". '^> 
for those who could enjoy it ; as for himself the doctors had 
forbidden him that insidious meal for nearly a quarter of a 
century. And yet, he said, he would rather die of indigestion 
than incur the imputation of niggardly conduct. ' I pray 
you,' he wrote to Burghley, ' help to rid me hence, that I may- 
avoid all these spiteful occasions of grief and unkindness.' l 

Preparations for the settlement of Munster, and specula- Rumours c 
tions as to the coming of the Armada, occupied the early days 
of 1586. A rover, who put into Cork Harbour, declared that 
20,000 Spaniards were intended for Ireland. Redmond 
O'Gallagher, whom the Pope had provided to the See of 
Derry, and whom the Queen had not sought to displace, was 
once more on his travels in search of aid from France or 
Spain, and Munster lay open to attack. There was 110 
garrison even at Limerick, which was called the strongest place 
in the province, and the guns had fallen to the ground from 
their rotten carriages. The muskets were useless from rust, Miserable 
and the feathers had damped off the arrows. Cork, Waterford, anuy. 
and the rest were in no better case. Wallop had to pledge 
his plate for 100., and the captains were in debt through 
vain attempts to clothe their shivering men, who ran off to 
the Irish chiefs to look for brogues and frieze mantles. The 
Vice-Treasurer anxiously begged for 20,000/. ; if the Spaniards 
landed it would cost 300,000^. to get rid of them. But 
Elizabeth's thoughts were all given to the Continent, and 
better than any man in Ireland she probably understood the * 
real impotence of Spain. 2 

In the second session of Perrott's Parliament the chief Pariiampnt 
business was the Desmond attainder, and there was so much ~*^ 


1 Perrott to Burghley, Sept. 8 and 24, 1585. The ' Articles ' referred to 
were sent to Ireland by Fenton in the following spring, and are printed in 
Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica, i. 63. 

2 Perrott to Walsingham, Jan. 27, 1586 ; Sir G. Carew to Walsingham 
Feb. 27 ; to Burghley, Aug. 2, 1588, in Caretv ; Lord Deputy and Council 
to the Privy Council, Jan. 28, 1586 ; description of Munster, 1588, p. 530 ; 
Wallop to Burgley, Oct. 1585 (No. 19) and Nov. 18 ; to Walsingham, 
March 7, 1586; Vice- President Norris to the Privy Council, Oct. 18, 1586. 


CHAP, opposition that some of the judges were sent for to assure 

. ^ '> the House of Commons that Ormonde's rights should be 

saved. In the bill which then passed, Desmond and his 
brothers John and James, James Fitzmaurice, and thirty-four 
others were named, their lands being vested in the Crown 
without inquisition, but without prejudice to innocent parties. 
Eighty-two others were attainted by name in another Act, 
which contained the same reservations. Some of the late 
Opposition had apologised, but an Opposition still remained, 
and Perrott was not allowed to punish it as he wished. The 
Commons rejected a bill vesting the lands of persons there- 
after attainted in the Crown without the usual formalities, and 
they finally refused to grant a subsidy of 13s. 4-d. upon every 
ploughland. The session lasted less than three weeks. At 
Parliament the dissolution Speaker Walshe addressed the Lord Deputy 
at length, praising the constitution, lamenting that the Queen 
was an absentee, and hinting pretty plainly that the subject 
was overburdened. 'Lamps,' he said, ' cannot give light that 
are not maintained with oil.' Perrott's answer, if he gave 
one, is not recorded ; but Elizabeth was so little pleased with 
her Parliament of Ireland, that she summoned no other during 
the remaining sixteen years of her reign. 1 

The Mac- Perrott's last invasion of Ulster, and his correspondence 

^Antrim. with the Kin S of Scotland > tad done little good. Dunluce 
was now in Sorley Boy's hands, and the English Government 
inclined to make friends with him. Sorley hesitated to go 
to Dublin, and in the meantime his eldest son Alaster was 
killed in Tyrconnell. After being wounded in a skirmish he 
swam across a river, but we found him, says Captain Price, 
' by great chance in a deep grave, strewn over with rushes, 
arid on every side six old calliox weeping . . . but a quick 
corse therein, and in memory of Dunluce we cried quittance 
with him, and sent his head to be set on Dublin Castle.' 
Perrott was inclined to make the most of success, and to 

1 Printed statutes, 28 Eliz. caps. 7 and 8 ; Perrott to Walsingham, June 
18, 1585; Lords Gormanston, Slane, Howth, and Trimleston to the Queen, 
Dec. 10, 1585. Parliament was dissolved May 14, 1586 ; and see Speaker 
Walshe's speech on that day. 


break off the negotiations, ' as though,' said Fenton, ' by this 
blow hydra's head were seared up.' But his loss made the 
old chief readier to treat, and he came to Dublin on protection, 
after writing a humble letter. It is said that an official 
brutally showed him his son's head over the Castle gate, and 
that he proudly answered, as if to justify Fenton's simile, 
' my son has many heads.' He made a formal submission, Sorlcy Bo 

_ . becomes a 

prostrating himself before a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, ad- subject, 
mitting that he had no legal right in Ulster, and particularly 
condemning his own folly 'in leaving such men in the Castle 
of Dunluce, within this her Highness's land, as should say 
they kept it in the name, or to th'e use of, the King of Scots, 
a Prince that honoureth her Majesty and embraceth her 
favour. The land he held had been taken by force, and he 
was willing to keep it on such terms as the Queen might be 
pleased to grant. Upon this basis a treaty was concluded, 
by which Sorley had a grant by knight service of all the 
land between the Bann and the Bush, and of much to the 
eastward, and he was made Constable of Dunluce, while re- 
signing his claim to property in it. He became a denizen, 
and having got all that he had fought for, gave Perrott no 
further trouble. A great part of the Glynns, comprising and a 
the coast between Larne and Ballycastle, had already been owner, 
granted to his nephew Angus. Thus were the MacDonnells 
confirmed in the possessions for which they had struggled so 
long. 1 

Bingham soon tried how real was the submission of west- Bingham 

in Con- 

ern Connaught, for he held sessions at Galway, and hanged naught, 
seventy persons, of whom some were gentlemen. This he 
modestly called the cutting off of a few bad members. He 
then, after a three weeks' siege, took Clonloan Castle from the 
O'Briens and killed all the garrison. He went next against The Mayo 
the Hag's Castle in Lough Mask, which was held by some re bei, es 

1 Perrott's Life, p. 216; Hill's MacDonnells of Antrim, pp. 171-187; 
the Queen to the Lord Chancellor and Council, Feb. 26, 1586 ; Captain 
Price to Walsingham, March 31 ; to Burghley, April 15 ; Fenton to 
Burghley, April 19 and June 14, 1586 ; Submission of Sorley Boy, June 14- 
The Indentures are in Careic ii. 427. 


CHAP. Burkes, who had risen rather than attend Galway sessions. 

' f^- ' An attack in boats failed, but the garrison slipped away by 

water, and resolved, according to the annalists, to defend no 
more castles against the Queen of England. Resistance was 
vain, and most of the chiefs came in to Bingham, among them 
being Richard Burke, a noted partisan, who was called the 
Hedge or Pale of Ireland. It was proved that he had been 
intriguing with the Scots, and he was promptly hanged, by 
the sentence of a court-martial. Peremptory orders then 
came from Perrott to give the rest protection, and the Burkes 
immediately broke out again, saying that they would have a 
MacWilliam, though they fetched him out of Spain. They 
would have no sheriff, and attend no sessions, nor serve a 
heretic hag, but would transfer their allegiance to the Pope 
or the Catholic king. They were near 800 strong, and 
Bingham would not attack them without Perrott's orders, who 
gave them as soon as he saw clearly that conciliation had 
done no good. After three months' delay, Bingham again 
took the field, with Clanricarde and others, and had a parley 
with the rebels at Ballinrobe. They stood out for their old 
terms, whereupon Bingham proclaimed them all traitors and 
and are hanged the hostages in his hands. Three thousand cows were 
by Bing- driven from the mountains between Mayo and Galway ; but 
aiu ' the annalists assert that the guilty escaped, and that only 

the innocent were plundered. The soldiers, they say, killed 
old men, women, and boys, ' and hanged Theobald O'Toole, 
supporter of the destitute and keeper of a house of hospi- 
tality.' The proclamation had, however, the effect of making 
Bingham's enemies distrust each other. The Joyces, a tribe 
of Welsh origin, very long settled in Galway, the Clandonnells, 
or gallowglasses of Scottish descent, and the various septs of 
Burkes, kept separate ; while the O' Flaherties, who had lately 
been in rebellion, were now glad to attack their neighbours 
at the Governor's instance. Sir Murrogh of the Battleaxes, 
chief of the O'Flaherties, plundered the Joyces, while his 
kinsman Roger, with a flotilla, prevented them from escaping 
into the islands. The corn was not yet ripe, but Bingham 
meant to burn it when the time came, and thought that his 

GOVERNMENT OF PEEEOTT, 1585-1588. 153 

subjects would then be in no case to make dangerous alii- CHAP. 

ance with the Scots. The bad spirit showed signs of spreading, > ,_ '^ 

and a messenger from Munster reported that Leicester was 
dead in Holland, and that his army was destroyed. Two 
great Spanish armies, he gave out, had landed in England, 
there was a Spanish fleet at Baltimore, James of Scotland 
was preparing for war, and, to crown all, Queen Elizabeth was 
at the point of death. Bingham managed to catch the tale- 
bearer, and hanged him as a spy, and finding that they had 
little chance against this pitiless soldier, most of the rebels 
came in ; 'so pined away for want of food, and so ghasted who strikes 
with fear within seven or eight weeks, by reason they were so all. 
roundly followed without any interim of rest, that they looked 
rather like to ghosts than men.' Except a small body of the 
Burkes, who remained in arms at Castlebar, no one was left 
to greet the Scots when they at last appeared. 1 

Two years before, Donnell Gorme, a brother to Angus, The Scots 
had been granted r. early two-thirds of the Glynns which were naught, 
then in his possession. But he afterwards rebelled, and was 
ready for anything. Messengers from the Mayo Burkes 
earnestly sought his help, and being joined by his brother, 
Alaster, he brought 2,000 Redshanks from the isles. The 
brothers landed in Innishowen, and all the loose Scots in 
Ireland gathered round them, so that their force was uncer- 
tain. Only a week before their appearance on the Erne, 
Wallop said they were less than 600 bare-tailed beggars, 
and not at all dangerous. They plundered O'Dogherty and 

1 Docwra's Relation; Four Masters, 1586; Bingham to Walsingham, 
Feb. 5, 1586 ; to Perrott, July 30 and Aug. 16 and 26 ; to Loftus, Aug. 30 > 
Wallop to Walsingham, Aug. 23. The execution of Richard Oge Burke, 
called Falfo Erinn, was made a principal charge against Bingham in 1595 
and 1596, when his accusers seemed to have driven him finally from Ireland, y 
Bingham justified this execution, since most of the Burkes (including the 
Blind Abbot, afterwards MacWilliam) declared, under their hands and 
under the sanction of an oath, that Eichard Oge had persuaded them to 
resist the Governor, to bring in Scots, and to hold the Hag's Castle against 
him. Seven members of the Council of Connaught were present at the 
execution, ' Sir Richard having no other means of ordinary trial at that 
time by reason of the great troubles.' Discourse of the late rebellion of 
the Burkes, with all the signatures, Nov. 17, 1586 ; O'Flaherty's West 
Connavffht, p. 186. 





and are 

the &cot#. 

Maguire, and waited at Belleek for news of their Conn aught 
friends. Bingham, who was at Balla in Mayo, heard that 
ursued by they were likely to enter his province by the north shore of 
Lough Ree, hurried to Roscommon, found that he had been 
misled, and then made his way to Sligo by forced marches. 
The Scots were encamped on the Erne, and he sent to ask what 
they wanted. The MacDonnells said their friends had drawn 
them over by offering the spoil of Connaught : that like all 
other soldiers in the world they had no shift but to serve the 
highest bidder, and that they would take what they could 
until hindered by the strong hand. 1 

Bingham had with him but 60 regular horse and 400 foot. 
Of these 300 were half-trained Irishmen, and upon his 200 
kerne and 200 Irish horse he could place little reliance. He 
stood on the defensive till help came ; and after a fortnight's 
delay the Scots advanced stealthily towards the Curlew hills, 
and passed Bingham's scouts on a very dark and stormy 
night. 50 Irish horse watched the bridge at Collooney, but 
they made no fight, and 400 Scots passed before the infantry 
came up. The rest of the intruders crossed higher up by a 
ford Bingham had never heard of, but they lost some 50 men 
in subsequent skirmishes. Bingham then discharged his Irish 
auxiliaries. ' They were,' he said, ' to me a great trouble, 
and very chargeable, and during their being in my company, I 
could keep no enterprise secret, and yet but mean men when 
they come to action, for at the charge they forsook me.' Their 
hearts were not in the work, and no real help was given but 
by Clanricarde and two or three of his men. While waiting 
for reinforcements, Bingham crossed the Slieve Gamp moun- 
tains near the sea, with a view to saving the great herds of 
cattle in Tireragh. Mayo was the real destination of the 
Scots, but Bingham's information was uncertain, and he 
moved towards Lough Gara, where he was joined by 40 horse 
and 250 foot which Perrott had ordered up from Munster. 
He had now nearly GOO men, of which less than 100 were 

1 Wallop to Walsingham, Aug. 23, 1586; Maguire to Perrott, Aug. 28 ; 
Bingham to Loftus, Aug. 30 ; answer of Donnell Gorme, &c. (Sept. 22). 
Bingham says he marched seventy-two miles in two duyt. 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1585-1588. 155 

horse, and this was his greatest strength. It had been sup- CIIAP. 
posed that the Scots would seize Roscommon ; but they moved 

__-.... . . _ Who draw 

'the clean contrary way towards Ballma, giving out, and towards 
perhaps believing, that Bingham's forces had abandoned him, ayo ' 
and that the country was theirs. Sir Richard's spies brought 
the news at noon, ' before our men could kill their beef and 
prepare it to refresh themselves with ' ; and he followed the 
Scots at once through the woods to Bannada Abbey. A priest 
and two gentlemen of the O'Haras guided him by Aclare to 
Ardnarea on the Moy, where the strangers lay waiting for 
the Burkes to join them. 

Bingham left Castlemore-Costello in the afternoon of Bingham 
Wednesday, halted at Bannada Abbey two hours after night- Scots by 
fall, and marched by moonlight to Aclare. With the morning mg ' 
light, he says, ' we forsook the highway, and took through 
the mountains with horsemen, footmen, and carriage, carrying 
all our own forces as in a " heyrse " together, keeping the 
bottoms and lowest passages as near as we might by cir- 
cumferent ways, and with as great silence as was possible.' 
Reaching firm ground about nine o'clock, Bingham learned 
that the enemy were only two miles away, and pushed on at 
once with his cavalry, the advanced guard actually riding 
into their camp unchallenged. The Scots got into order as 
quickly as they could, Bingham skirmishing until his foot 
came up. He had the advantage of ground, and the Red- 
shanks broke at the first charge. ' I was never,' said Captain and amii - 


Woodhouse, so weary with killing of men, for I protest to them at th 
God, for as fast as I could I did but hough and paunch them.' 
In an hour all was over. About eighty swam naked over the 
Moy, and were mostly killed by the natives whom they had 
come to fight for; the rest became entangled in each other, 
and, to use Bingham's own expression, were carried out to 
sea in ' plumpes.' Both their leaders were slain. A thousand 
corpses lay on the field, and 500 more were found next day 
about the banks and shallows. ' The number of their fighting- 
men slain and drowned that day we estimated and num- 
bered to be 1,400 or 1,500, besides boys, women, churls, 
and children, which could not be so few as as manv more and 


upwards.' If it be true that Bingham only lost two or three 
men, and those chiefly through their own folly, the surprise 
must have been more complete than we should infer from 
the English accounts. ' They were,' says the Four Masters, 
' first aroused from their profound slumbers by the shrieks 
of their military attendants, whom the Governor's people 
were slaughtering throughout the town. The Scots then 
arose expertly, and placed themselves, as well as they were 
able, in order and battle array.' l 
Perrott in- Bingham had asked for only 250 men from Perrott, and 

gists en go- -11 

ing to Con- had particularly requested that the Deputy should not enter 
Ulfi ' Connaught. He complained that the aid was tardily sent, 
and that much of the effect of his victory would be taken 
away if he were not left to follow it up in his own way. 
The Council also opposed Perrott's expedition, but notwith- 
standing this and the rebuke he had received from the Queen 
for visiting Ulster under similar circumstances, he set out 
upon the journey, but had only reached Mullingar at 
the date of Bingham's victory. He went on to Galway, 
though his retinue were a heavy burden to the province. 
He took cattle for their use at a forced price, and thus broke 
the composition which had been made in his name, but 
chiefly through Bingham's exertions. Perrott afterwards 
declared that the journey only cost the Queen 100., that 
Bingham had requested his presence, and that the Council 
had given him leave to go. But it is impossible to reconcile 
these statements with those made in a hostile sense. At 
first the Council altogether refused their consent, and then, 
when some of Perrott's opponents were absent and more of 
his supporters present, they agreed, by no means unanimously, 
that he should go to the borders of Connaught only. After 
the overthrow of the Scots there was no longer any valid 
reason for going forward. Bingham complained that at 

1 Docwra's Belation ( ' not slain past two persons ' ) ; Four Masters, 1586 ; 
Stowe's Chronicle. ; Bingbam to Burghley, Oct. 6, 1586, ' not one man slain by 
the enemy ; ' to Loftus and Perrott, Sept, 23 ; to Wallop, Oct. 18 ; Captain 
"VVoodhouse to Fenton, Sept. 23. Bingham owns to ' divers men hurt and 

GOVERNMENT OF PEREOTT, 1585-1588. 157 

Gal way the Lord Deputy did nothing but hunt up evidence CHAP. 

against him, so as, if possible, to make it appear that his ^ , '. - 

misovernment had made the Burkes rebel. The chief men betwwai 

of the clans were, however, induced to sign a paper in which 
they declared their confidence in the Governor. They said 
their revolt was caused by what they could not deny to be 
commendable reforms. It had been reported that ' this new 
governor wonld make their churls their masters, and that 
the gentlemen were like to become beggars for want of their 
cuttings and spendings, and such other exactions as they 
compelled the tenants to yield unto them at their own 
devotion.' This and the destruction of their old tribal organi- 
sation, by abolishing the name and power of MacWilliam, 
were the real causes of the outbreak ; and surely we need 
look no farther. It is impossible to say whether Perrott 
was jealous, or whether he really disapproved of Bingham's 
proceedings; but he indulged in strong and even coarse 
language, and that could not fail to excite prejudice against 
him. 1 

Like many of his predecessors, Perrott chafed under the Perrott 
restraint of the Council. The English or official party at ^ith'hi 
the Board were inclined to lessen his power by frequent Couaci1 
references to the Home Government. On this side were 
Lord Chancellor Loftus, Sir Nicholas Bagenal the Knight-. 
Marshal, Vice-Treasurer Wallop, and Secretary Fenton. The 
Great Seal was in the Chancellor's hands, the signet in the 
Secretary's, and Perrott had thus the mortification of seeing 
his opponents concerned in every act of importance. Most 
lawyers of Irish birth took the other side, and of these 
the most active were Sir Nicholas White and Chief Baron 
Sir Lucas Dillon. Loftus and his friends generally leaned 
on Walsingham, while their opponents had more hope from 
Burghley. Fenton was in England during the latter half 
of 1585 and until March in the next year, and Perrott, who 

1 Bingham to Burghley, Oct. 8 and Dec. 5, 1586; to Wallop, Oct. 18 ; 
Wallop to Burghley, Nov. 15; Irish Council to Burghley, Sept. 27 ; true dis- 
course of the cause, &c., Nov. 16 and 17; Perrott's note of his expenses, 
Sept, (No. 43). 





and there- 
by dis- 
the Queen. 

wiih Arch- 

knew what the Secretary's influence would be, expected his 
recall, and was ready to welcome it. 

The Queen did not blame her representative directly ; 
but she sent home despatches by Fenton which he greatly 
disliked, though they were very moderate and considerate in 
terms. The Council was to be more often consulted, and 
the Secretary was directed to read all instructions from head- 
quarters openly at the Board at least once a quarter. This 
was no new thing, but a rebuke may have been implied in 
giving Fenton the initiative. In secret matters the Deputy 
was to confer with the English councillors, and offices in his 
gift were to be bestowed only on fit persons, which seems 
to suggest that he had made some improper appointments. 
Perrott considered these orders derogatory to his dignity, 
and he begged to be relieved. 1 

The argument between the Lord Deputy and the Lord 
Chancellor about St. Patrick's was so loud that it reached 
the Queen's ear, and she wrote to them both, enjoining a 
reconciliation. Burghley added some fatherly advice to 
Loftus, and an open breach was avoided. But the Arch- 
bishop lost no opportunity of doing the Deputy an ill turn. 
" Contempt of God's religion," " immoderate government," 
" abhorred and loathed of the best sort of this people." were 
among the expressions he allowed himself to use in writing 
to Walsingham. With Burghley he was more guarded, 
acknowledging that the private mislike between him and 
the Deputy made open complaint unbecoming, yet com- 
plaining very strongly at the same time. There was not 
much outward scandal, for the Chancellor's mitre protected 
him in some measure, and a dignified ecclesiastic had pro- 
bably enough self-restraint to avoid irritating language. 
Others were less fortunate. Secretary Fenton owed 201. to 
the Deputy, and 50Z. to one of his retainers ; and for this 
small debt the liability to pay which he had not denied 

1 The despatch sent by Fenton is printed in Desiderata Curwsa 
Hibemica, i. 49 ; Perrott to Walsingham, Jan. 12, 1586, and four letters to 
Burghley, on April 12, 15, 16, and 26, from White, Fenton, Perrott, and 
Wallop respectively. 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1585-1588. 159 

Perrott had this high official hurried off through the streets CHAP. 

on market-day, and ignominiously cast into the common gaol. , 

For this extraordinary proceeding the Queen took her Deputy the Chief 
severely to task, and ordered Fenton's immediate enlarge- to eC gaoi. ry 
ment. ( Considering,' she said, ' how inconvenient it is at 
all times, but especially in so doubtful and perilous a season 
as this, to have you and the rest of our Council there divided, 
as we hear you are by factions and partialities, to our just 
offence and mislike, the slander of your government and 
prejudice of our service, whereof we doubt not but you will, 
for your own part, have that regard that in honour and duty 
appertain eth.' Bingham's duties in Connaught kept him 
from the Council-board, but Perrott gave him as little coun- 
tenance as possible. There was a standing dispute about 
the house at Athlone, which was in the Deputy's hands, and 
which Bingham naturally wanted for an official residence. 
Perrott's journey into the province against the Governor's 
advice made things worse, and Bingham complained of hard 
usage, ' especially in bad speeches and uncourteous terms, 
such as for modesty's sake I omit to write here.' Theobald 
Dillon, collector of composition rents in Connaught, was 
supported by the Lord Deputy against Bingham ; but the 
Council heard Dillon's charges, and declared them unfounded. 
The evening before the Council gave their decision, and 
doubtless after the result of the hearing was known, Stephen 
Seagrave, constable of the Castle, came to Bingham, on 
Perrott's part, with a great white truncheon in his hand, Challenges 
and informed him that his lordship was ready for the vernorof 
combat. Bingham said he never heard of any such combat 
before, and the Lord Deputy admitted having sent Seagrave. 
The provocation alleged was mere hearsay : that Lord Delvin 
had told Perrott that Sir Richard had told Lieutenant Jacques 
that he would fight the Deputy if he were out of office ; and 
Seagrave was told to tell Bingham that the duel might take 
place at once. Still worse was the treatment of Sir Nicholas 
Bagenal, who was near eighty years old, and who had 
served the State well for half a century. A dispute arising in and as- 
the Council Chamber, Perrott actually struck the old man. marshal! 





According to Bagenal, lie knocked him down ; others thought 
the blow was nothing, but that the aged marshal fell in the 
confusion. Bagenal held up his stick, but not till the Deputy 
had first laid hands on him. They were separated ; and then 
this edifying dialogue took place : ' You do lie,' said the 
Deputy, ' if you think I have dealt evil in anything.' 

' You lie,' said the Marshal, and to mend it said, ' if you 
were not Deputy, I would say you lie, for I care not for Sir 
John Perrott.' 

' If I were but Sir John Perrott,' said the Deputy, ' I 
would teach him that came from a tailor's stall, to use me 

' It makes no matter,' said the Marshal. 

' Well,' said the Deputy, ' because you doat, I will bear 
with you ; otherwise I would commit you to the prison.' 

' If you did,' said he, ' I would come out, whether you 
would or not.' 

' Very well, Mr. Marshal,' said the Deputy, ' get you 
hence, for it is not reason to talk with you. A man would 
think you are drunk.' 

* Nay, you are drunk,' said the Marshal to the Deputy. 

After this it is hardly worth while to repeat "Wallop's 
complaints, that his labours in Munster were slighted, and 
that the Lord Deputy sometimes indulged in violent language 
against him, and against Chief Justice Gardiner. 1 

Perrott's health may partly excuse him, for he suffered 
much. ' By God, Mr. Carew,' he wrote, ' I daily grow weaker 
and weaker of body through the great pain I have of 
the stone, growing more and more upon me in this slimy 

1 Perrott's Life, p. 243. Loftus to Burghley, April 26 and Dec. i and 121 
1586; to Walsingham, Sept. 30; Bingham to Burghley, Dec. 5 and Feb. 
26, 1587; acquital of Bingham under the hands of the Council (Loftus, 
Bagenal, Bishop Garvey of Kilmore. Gardiner, C. J., and Fenton), Feb. 20, 
1587 ; Wallop to Walsingham, May 31, 1586 ; Perrott to Leicester, April 
18, 1587, in Carew ; the Queeu to Perrott, Feb. 9, 1587. For the alterca- 
tion with Bagenal see the Marshal's own passionate and affecting letter to 
the Privy Council, May 15, 1587, and another to Leicester in Carew, the 
Council's account, May 15 ; and White's account, May 23. See also, for 
Perrott's behaviour, Wallop to Burghley and Walsingham, April 26, and 
July 5, 1588. 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1585-1588. 161 

country. In Connaught, if I travelled one day, through the CHAP. 

grating of the stone in my kidneys I was fain to rest < ,-1 

another ; and in the end the Irish ague took me, that I was 
seven days like to die in Galway, and am not yet thoroughly 
recovered thereof, nor shall not (I believe) pass this next 
year, except her Majesty, of her great grace, give me licence 
to go to the Spa the next spring ; a suit that I made to her 
Highness nine years agone. It were better her Majesty 
preserved me to serve her in some other place, than I to be 
wilfully cast away here.' Ireland was a prison where he 
could do no good to himself nor to any other man. ' Help 
your poor friend out of this hell,' was his prayer to_Leicester. 
If he could but see Elizabeth all would be well, for she had 
promised not to listen to detractors who were his enemies 
because he served one God and one Queen; but now her 
Deputy was brought into greater contempt than ever Sir 
John Perrott was. One can sympathise with the man ; but 
no good work could be expected from a governor who had 
personally quarrelled with all the more important members 
of the Council, by whose advice he was bound to act. 1 

Ireland being comparatively peaceful, it occurred to An Irish 
Elizabeth, or to some of her advisers, that an Irish force aeSTo * 
might be raised for service in the Netherlands. Perhaps it Holland 
was also thought that the more loose swordsmen were sent 
out of the country the more likely it was to remain quiet. tmfcrSir 
The officer chosen was Sir William Stanley, who had done Stanley 1 
good service in many parts of Ireland, and who had been 
rewarded by a reversionary grant of the Mastership of the 
Ordnance. The Catholic party was at this time in the 
ascendency at Deventer, and had given trouble by in- 
troducing provisions into the beleaguered city of Zutphen. 
Leicester sent Sir William Pelham to secure Deventer, and 
Stanley, whom he must have known well in Ireland, was 
ordered to support him. Pelham secured the municipality 
in Protestant hands, and Leicester then handed over the 

1 Perrott to Sir George Carew, April 27 and Oct. 30, 1586, and Aug. 9, 
1587 ; to Leicester, April 18, 1587 (all in Carew}; Perrott to Walsingham, 
March 7, 158S. 




to the 

CHAP, place to Stanley, who was known to favour the old religion, 
-_ - and suspected of being concerned in plots, and who had been 
associating with Spaniards for months. Leicester's chief 
object in making this appointment seems to have been to 
annoy Sir John Norris, from whose control, with almost 
A incredible folly, he specially excepted Stanley and his 
' Irishmen. The fort of Zutphen, which had been lately 
taken, was entrusted to Rowland Yorke, an adventurer of 
the worst character, who soon opened communications with 
who deserts the Spanish garrison of the town. Stanley's Irish soldiers 
were allowed into Zutphen to hear mass ; and Leicester, 
though he was warned of what was going on, took no steps 
to prevent it. When the Earl went to England, Yorke and 
Stanley had ample time for plotting, and Deventer was 
given up to the Spaniards in due course. But treason 
rarely prospers. Yorke, who was promised a large reward, 
died under suspicious circumstances before he could enjoy 
it. Stanley seems to have been more disinterested ; but he 
received money from Philip, joined Parma's army, and was 
seen by Robert Cecil during his mission to France in 1598, 
who notes that the renegade was fain to pull his cap over 
his face. Nor did all Spaniards approve Stanley's conduct, 
if it be true that in passing through Seville ' he was well 
handled of the country, for they unarmed him, unhorsed 
him, reviled him for his lewd doings towards his prince, and 
made him go on foot ; but coming to the King he was in 
favour, and punishment used on such as thus dealt with 
him, and the officers displaced for suffering it.' An invasion 
of Ireland was contemplated under Stanley's leadership, and 
he looked forward with pleasure to the service. ' I will,' 
he said, ' ruin the whole country as far as Holland and the 
parts about Wezel (Ijssel) and Emden in six days, and in 
Ireland I will open such a game of war as the Queen has 
never seen in her life.' Against his advice the descent on 
Ireland was abandoned, and he sank into obscurity ; it was 
even reported that he had gone mad. An Italian named 
Giacomo de Francesqui, and sometimes called Captain 
Jacques, who had been his lieutenant in Ireland, was 

wished to 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1585-1588. 163 

arrested by Burghley's orders. This officer was on friendly CHAP. 

terms with Florence MacCarthy, and was known to have ^ - 

been acquainted with Ballard ; and it was thought that he 
might be utilised by the Spaniards in Munster. Most of 
Stanley's Irish levies doubtless left their bones in the Low 
Countries, but a few returned to Ireland, and eleven of these 
poor men were pardoned by Elizabeth nearly seven years 
after the treason at Deventer. ' They were,' she said, ' inno- 
cently forced to disobey us.' For many years there were 
reports that Stanley was coming to Ireland, but he never but never 
came. In Cheshire old Sir Rowland Stanley ' grievously anything, 
lamented his son William the traitor, maintaining his son 
in Cambridge, and also relieving his wife and children, having 
no other maintenance.' l 

If Stanley's advice had been taken, Elizabeth might have The Ir ? sh t 
been reduced to serious straits, for it was impossible to prevent 
a Spanish descent, and there were but scant preparations to 
meet an enemy on shore. Early in 1586 it was rumoured 
that there would be an invasion on May Day, and Perrott 
asked for a small cruiser to gather news on the Biscay coast. 
Merchants from Spain and Portugal reported that Irishmen 
were free from the embargo laid on English shipping, and 
that the many Irish residents in the peninsula made no secret 
of what was going on. Forty thousand men had been col- 
lected ; eighty-five ships were ready, all but the rigging ; 
Irish refugees from Rome and elsewhere flocked to Spain. 
Irish sailors were often detained by the Spanish Government, 
and occasionally told their adventures to Perrott, who also 
employed a secret agent, one Davy Duke, who knew Italian 
and Spanish, passed as a Jesuit, and had letters of introduc- 
tion from a papal bishop imprisoned in Dublin Castle. Miles 

1 The above is chiefly from Motley's United Netherlands, chap xiii. ; the 
story of Stanley's ill-treatment at Seville is in a letter of Dec. 17, 1687, 
from Bishop Lyons of Cork to Fenton, on the authority of Galway mer- 
chants lately from Spain ; Privy Council to Perrott, Jan. 30, 1587 ; warrant 
for arrest of Captain Jacques, Feb. 9. For reports about Stanley see the 
Irish and Foreign S. P. passim ; the pardon for the eleven soldiers is in 
Morrin's Patent Rolls 35 Eliz. No. 81. For Sir Rowland Stanley sea Sir 
Eoger Wilbraham to P.urghley, May 10, 1590. 

M 2 




Drake is 
the terror 
of Spain. 

Brewett, mariner of Dublin, told how he had been taken 
before Santa Cruz, and how the Marquis had said that he 
knew Perrott very well, regretting that he was such a 
Lutheran, and wishing for one of his best horses and for one 
of his best hawks. The Admiral asked Brewett much about 
Ireland, and he answered that he had never known it so 
quiet. One of James Fitzmaurice's sons boasted to him that 
5,000 men were going to Ireland, that Feagh MacHugh was 
ready to welcome them, and that all Ireland would do the 
same, except Dublin, Waterford, and Drogheda. But Brewett 
heard from others that Philip was weary of the Irish, and that 
his subjects called them beggars. Their priests cried out 
against Duke, who, after learning all he could, went over 
to Bayonne and wrote boldly to say that he was going to his 
mistress Queen Elizabeth. He bade the Pope farewell, saying 
that he liked of his countrymen's company, but not of their 
learning. As the plot thickened, news of Santa Cruz came 
constantly to Waterford, and Drake's very successful pre- 
datory cruise was freely discussed by merchants and others. 
One said that the great sailor must have taken Cadiz if he 
had landed at once ; for that the whole population were at 
a comedy, where eighteen persons were crushed to death 
in the panic caused by his appearance a lady with 16,000 
ducats a year being among the victims. Even in the heart 
of Castille, Spaniards hardly thought themselves safe. Philip 
and his train were amusing themselves on some artificial 
water, and a lady who was invited to enter the royal barge 
refused to do so, ' for fear of Sir Francis Drake.' The usually 
impassive monarch is said to have lost his temper, and 
banished the timid, or perhaps only sarcastic, lady from court, 
swearing a great oath that he would be revenged on England. 
To bring this happy result about, he ordered that all Irish- 
men and Scots should be used as Spaniards. Baltinglas had 
left a brother who assumed his title, and offered to invade 
Ireland if the King would give him 5,000 men. Philip was 
willing to do so much, but the Irish gentlemen clamoured for 
twice or thrice as many, and he then said they did not know 
their own minds, and should have none at all. Despairing of 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1585-1588. 165 

Spain, Fitzmaurice's son and some others proposed to go to CHAP. 

Ireland and make terms with Perrott, but this plan was given > r - 

up, owing to rumours of some severe measures of the Irish 
Government, and they again began to talk glibly of invasion. Irish mer- 
Santa Cruz had good information about Ireland from Limerick partisans of 
and Waterford merchants, ' who, under colour of their con- bpaln ' 
science lie at Lisbon these two years past, and hath their 
wives and children at home, and doth nothing but hearken 
for news of the state of England and Ireland, and whatever 
they can hear they report to the Cardinal and Marquis, and 
deliver the same with more than they can learn, and all to 
win themselves credit.' The English court were not blind to 
the danger of Ireland, though almost to the last Elizabeth 
seems hardly to have realised the Armada. Everything was 
wanting for the defence of Ireland, and the Queen would not 
listen. ' If,' said Perrott, ' any number of enemies arrive 
here, the cities and towns of this kingdom, and consequently 
the realm itself, will stand in great danger of losing, and the 
few Englishmen that be here in like danger of perishing. 
... I wish that the desire of peace (whereof I have little 
hope) may not cause forgetfulness, or breed peril to lose that 
we have.' l 

The regular revenue of Ireland was small, and as an The cess 
army was absolutely necessary, it had been usual to levy 
irregular taxes upon the shires of the Pale. There were 
plenty of lawyers to condemn taxation without the consent 
of Parliament ; but in this case the prerogative had been 
allowed, though there were many long disputes as to the 
amount of the aid, and as to its incidence. Cess of some 
kind had been exacted since the time of Edward III., and 
Sidney, who understood the subject thoroughly, describes r / 
it as a ' prerogative of the Prince and an agreement and con- 
sent of the nobility and Council to impose upon the country 

1 Perrott to the Privy Council, Jan. 28, 1586 ; to Walsingham, Feb. 7, 
11, and 20, and March 7 ; Examination of Miles Brewett, April 26, 1587; 
James Wyse, Mayor of Waterford, to Perrott, July 30 ; Perrott to Walsing- 
ham, Aug. 9; news by Tyrrell and Woode, Aug. 21; Gaspar Thunder's 
report, Oct. 5 ; Instructions for Sir W. Fitzwilliam, Dec.; Perrott to 
Walsingham, May 12, 1588. 


CHAP, a certain proportion of victual of all kinds, to be delivered and 

' r- ' issued at a reasonable rate, and, as it is commonly termed, 

the Queen's price, so that the rising and falling of prices 
makes the matter easier or heavier to the people.' The cess 
had been regularly levied since the latter years of Henry 
VIII., and a practice had crept in of applying it to the Lord- 
Deputy's household as well as to the army. The uncertainty 
of the impost was the worst part of it, and Elizabeth wished 
to substitute a regular money payment. Temporary arrange- 
ments were made, and the total sum leviable was fixed at 
2,100Z. ; the cultivated parts of Kilkenny, Tipperary, Wexford, 
Carlow, King's County, and Queen's County being made con- 
tributory, as well as the original Pale. Perrott tried to abolish 
the cess altogether, and to substitute a fixed land-tax of II. 
on every ploughland. This was reduced to 13s. 4cZ., but the 
Bill failed in the House of Commons, and Perrott had to fall 
back upon the composition of 2,100. 1 

Blnghnmis The Council acquitted Biiigham of all Dillon's charges ; 

se it to Hoi- 

land, but no peace followed, and Perrott continued to pile up 

accusations against him. For the sake of quiet the English 
Government resolved to utilise Bingham's energies in Hol- 
land, and he took the opportunity to sum up his services for 
Burghley's information. Connaught was at peace, though he 
had little help from his official superior, and Elizabeth was 
sure to be pleased at his having made the province pay its 
own expenses. ' The Lord Deputy,' he said, ' took the Com- 
position book from myself, and would not give me so much as a 
copy of that which in effect was my own work, whereby I was 
driven to search it out with infinite labour and pains.' Biiig- 
ham had been given to understand that he should succeed Lord 
Willoughby in Holland, and be allowed to appoint a deputy 
in Connaught. But the Queen named Sir Thomas Le Strange 
to act during his absence, while giving particular orders that 

1 Sidney's Brief Relation, 1583; Sidney to the Privy Council, Jan. 27, 
1577, in Carerv; petition of N. Nugent and others, July 1663, in Caren\ 
Answer of B. Scurlock and others, Jan. 11, 1577, in Caren ; Fenton to 
Burghley, Aug. 22 and Sept. 4, 1586; Perrott to Burghley, June 10, 1585; 
Note of acts, 1586, in Carerv, ii. 425. The composition is in Morrin's Patent 
II alls (note to 39 Eliz.) 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1585-1588. 167 

none of his officers should be displaced. Bingham saw no CHAP. 
prospect of advancement in Holland after the departure of ^ ' 
Leicester, on whose patronage he relied, and returned to returns to 
England with him or before him. He was admitted to the an ' 
Queen's presence, the house at Athlone was given up to him, 
in spite of Perrott and of Wallop's claim to a leasehold in- 
terest in it, and he returned to Ireland much stronger than 
he had left it. 1 

The restoration of Bingham to his government marks the 
time when the scale finally turned against Sir John Perrott. clines. 
His faults of temper have been already sufficiently commented 
on ; he was in bad health ; and worse things than ill-health 
or ill-temper were whispered about him. But Ireland was . 
manifestly peaceful, and by appointing Sir William Fitz- 
william the Queen showed that she expTcTe'd ~q uietPti uieB' 
and wished for an unambitious policy. Whatever chagrin 
Perrott may have felt at his supersession, he certainly ex- 
pressed none. All he asked was that his successor might 
come at once, so as to let him take the waters at Bath ; Spa 
being now out of the question. Fitzwilliam, however, 
lingered six months ; and when at last the time came for de- 
livering the sword Perrott presented to the Corporation of 
Dublin a silver gilt bowl bearing his arms and crest, and the 
words relinquo in pace. In handing over the badge of office 
he called his successor to witness that all was peaceful, and 
hoped that he would say so to the Queen's Council. Fitz- 
william answered that if he could leave it half as well he 
should do his Queen and country good service. ' There is, 
continued Perrott, ' no ill-minded or suspected person in this 
kingdom, which can carry but six swords after him into the 
field, but if you will name him and shall desire to have him, 
notwithstanding that I have resigned the sword, yet ... if 
they come not in on my word, I will lose the merit and repu- 
tation of all my service.' Fitzwilliam replied that it needed p e rrott 
not, for all was well. Three days later Perrott left Ireland for j^ s Ire " 
ever. A great number of noblemen and gentlemen came to 

1 Acquittal of Sir R. Bingham, Feb. 20, 1587 ; his discourse, July ; 
Bingham to Burghley, Oct. 3, 1587, and Feb. 13, 1588. 



Sts f ,e of 
left Con- 
naught and 

see him off, among whom old Tirlogh Luineach was conspicuous. 
That representative of an order that had almost passed away 
accompanied him to the ship and would not put off until the 
last moment. He watched the retreating sail until it was 
below the horizon, and then shed tears ' as if he had been 
beaten.' Nor was it only lords and chiefs who mourned 
for Perrott. The poor came forty miles to see him pass, 
praying for his long life and striving to take his hand 
if possible, or to touch the hem of his garment. When 
he asked them why they did so, they answered, ' that they 
never had enjoyed their own with peace before his time, 
and did doubt they should never do so again when he was 
gone. 1 

The quiet state of Connaught is perhaps most justly 
attributable to Bingham, but the Lord Deputy might take full 
credit for Leinster. Yet it was perhaps well that Fitzwilliam 
was polite, for the home province, though not in rebellion, 
was full of brigands who would certainly not have come at 
Perrott's call. Feagh MacHugh, with his 100 swordsmen, 
gave a ready refuge to vain and light persons, but he thought 
it politic to pay his respects to the new governor. His son- 
in-law, Walter Reagh, one of the bastard Geraldines who had 
long given trouble, was ready for any desperate feat. Captain 
Thomas Lee planned his destruction, but Mrs. Lee was an 
Irishwoman and kept the outlaw well-informed. Walter 
Reagh promptly murdered one of his followers who had been 
in communication with Lee, and the captain, not unnaturally, 
separated from his wife. Sir George Carew had assigned his 
constableship of Leighlin to Dudley Bagenal, son of the old 
marshal, whom Perrott justly called a ' very unadvised man.' 
Bagenal had treated many of his Irish neighbours abominably, 
yet he neglected to keep his proper quota of English, and gar- 
risoned his fort with kerne at 40s. or 31. a year. Walter Reagh 
having stolen some cattle, the constable pursued with eighteen 

1 Perrott to Walsingham, March 7, 18, and 21, and April 1, 1588, and 
Perrott's Life; Fitzwilliam's patent is dated Feb. 17, but he was not sworn 
till June 30. 

GOVERNMENT OF PEKKOTT, 1585-1588. 169 

men, was drawn into an ambuscade, killed and mutilated. 
Walter .Reagh was not hanged until ten years later. 1 

Munster was exhausted by war, and the only danger was Munster. / 
from Spain. Some said soldiers were as little needed in Kerry m0 ndfor-- 
as in Surrey or Middlesex, but little could be done in the feitures - 
way of colonisation while rumours of the Armada filled the 
air. The land, however, was roughly surveyed, and the seig- 
nory of 12,000 acres was fixed as the basis of a plantation, 
fractional parts being assigned in proportion to the colonists' 
means. The younger sons of gentlemen and substantial 
yeomen were to be encouraged to take leases under the 
undertakers, as the great grantees were called, and English 
artisans and labourers were also to be provided, while settlers 
from the same country were to be placed near one another. 
Difficulties soon arose. A disposition was shown to stretch The settie- 
the Queen's title, and this caused universal distrust. Thus g^ 
Fitzgerald of Decies, who had been created a viscount for his 
staunch loyalty against the Desmonds, and who had always 
claimed to hold of the Queen, was required to prove his title 
strictly. If he could be made out Desmond's tenant, then 
was Decies at the Queen's mercy. It was no wonder that 
Mr. Surveyor Robins had stones thrown at him. Legal ques- 
tions sprang up like mushrooms after rain. Who were innocent 
of rebellion, and how far were conveyances to uses fraudulent? 
' At Cork, Kilmallock, and Clonmel,' said the Solicitor- 
General, ' we spent five weeks in hearing the claims and titles 
to her Majesty's lands found by office. We had every man's 
bills, and fair evidence showed us, whereby it appears that 
the Irishry (especially by their daily feofments to uses) have 
practised as many fraudulent shifts for preserving their lands .. 
from forfeiture as in England ; and albeit their evidence be 
fair and very lawlike without exception, yet because fraud is 
secret and seldom found for her Majesty by jury, we have 
put the undertakers for the most part in possession, who, 

1 Perrott to Carew, March 27, 1587, in Carew ; Sir N. Bagenal to Burgh- 
ley, March 26 ; H. Sheffield to Burghley, Mavch 29 ; Andrew Trollope to 
Burghley, Oct. 27 (for Lee's case) ; Perrott's declaration, June 29, 1588, 
and Fitzwilliam to Burghley, July 31. 





Irish and 




Tyrone and 


of Tyrone. 

dwelling but half a year upon the lands, shall have better 
intelligence to discover the false practices than the commis- 
sioners can possibly learn out. They plead their cause by 
lawyers, who almost all of them in those parts have purchased 
titles against her Majesty, so as we have had much trouble to 
pacify and content them in some reasonable sort by persuasion 
of further hearing hereafter, and full allowance of their good 
titles.' The Irish took advantage of the delay to take pos- 
session of land everywhere, and three or four years after 
Desmond's death, the population was five times as great 
as it had been at the end of the war. A native squatter 
would offer a higher rent than any English settler, and 
everyone saw that the Plantation would fail in its main 
provisions. Between surveyors, lawyers, and undertakers it 
was impossible to make a clear title to anything, and the 
settlement hung fire during Perrott's administration. But 
some of the undertakers came over and resided, leaving the 
final measurement of lands to a future day. They quarrelled 
among themselves, and made confusion more confounded. 1 

In Ulster Tirlogh Luineach was getting old, while Hugh 
O'Neill, representing the bastard Dungannon branch, grew 
daily stronger. Hugh was now Earl of Tyrone, with a title to 
all he held in his country or district, reserving 240 acres to 
the Crown for the fort at Blackwater, and with a grant of 
markets and fairs. The new Earl covenanted to let Tirlogh 
enjoy the chiefry during his life, to abide by the decision of a 
royal commission as to boundaries, rents, and services, and not 
to make estates to any of the smaller chiefs called urrauglds, 
without consent of the State. Tirlogh was thus placed in 
possession of that part of Tyrone which lies north and west 
of the Mullaghcarne mountains, while receiving 1,000 marks 
from the Earl for the remainder. But Tyrone grasped at aU 
which Con Bacagh or Shane had enjoyed, and Perrott saw 

1 Wallop to Burghley, April 26, 1586 ; St. Leger to Burghley, May 30 ; 
Sir Koger Wilbraham, S. G., to the Munster Commissioners, Sept. 11, 1587; 
Arthur Robins to Walsingham, Sept. 17 ; Andrew Trollope to Burghley, 
Oct. 19 ; Sir W. Herbert to Burghley, April 30, 1587, and to Walsingham, 
July 12, 1588. 

GOVERNMENT OF PERROTT, 1685-1588. 171 

that he was restrained by fear only. His wife was O'Donnell's CHAP. 

daughter, and with that chief's help he hoped to crush Tirlogh. > T '.,- 

But Hugh, the son of Calvagh, claimed the succession in 
Tyrconnell, and joining his force to that of Tirlogh he attacked 
Tyrone's camp at night. The latter's force was much supe- 
rior, but he was surprised, defeated, and obliged to fly to 
Dungannon. Hugh was afterwards murdered by order of 
Ineen Duive, who wished to clear the succession for her own 
son. When Fitzwilliam reached Dublin, he found the Earl 
and Tirlogh there, lodging complaints against each other. 
Tyrone's defeat gave great delight to many, and David Power, 
who had some personal experience of his dealings, said publicly 
at Dundalk that he would climb so high as to break his neck, 
while Perrott thought ' nothing had done so much good in the 
North these nine years.' But the troubles in Ulster were 
only beginning. 1 

1 Morrin's Patent Rolls, May 10, 29 Eliz., and May 13 ; Tyrone's answer, 
April 1587 (No. 58); Andrew Trollope to Burghley, Oct. 26, 1587; Tyrone 
to Perrott, Jan. 4, 1 588 ; Perrott to Walsingham, May 1 2 ; Bingham to 
Burghley, May 15; Wallop to Walsingham, June 21. 





The Ar- 
mada ex- 

The Spa- 
iiish ships 



ON the death of Jacques Wingfield, Perrott had granted the 
Mastership of the Ordnance to his son, Sir Thomas. It 
appeared, however, that there had been a grant in reversion 
passed to Sir William Stanley, which was voidable, but not 
void, by that officer's treason. On the place becoming legally 
vacant it was conferred upon jSir George Carew, the late 
Master's nephew. He reported that almost everything in 
the Dublin store was rusty and rotten, and that the small 
remainder would soon be as bad, since no allowance was 
made for maintaining it in a serviceable state. The gunners 
and armourers were no better than the stores ; while Cork, 
Limerick, and other places were as ill-provided as the capital. 
Yet the Spaniards were daily expected, and the whole popu- 
lation, exhausted by their late sufferings, stood at gaze, 
waiting in fear and trembling for the great event. 1 

On the 2nd of August Drake made up his mind that the 
enemy could not land in any part of Great Britain, and left 
the Armada to contend with the elements only. The rumours 
of English defeat which reached Spain were industriously 
propagated in Ireland also, but on the 26th the discomfiture 
of the invaders was known as far west as Athlone, though no 
letter had yet arrived. In the first days of September the 
flying ships began to tell their own story. From the Giant's 
Causeway to the outermost point of Kerry the wild Atlantic 
seaboard presented its inhospitable face, and the Spaniards 
who landed met with a reception to match. At first they 
were the objects of great anxiety, and if the fleet had kept 

1 Carew to Burghley, July 18 and Aug. 2, 1588 ; to Walsingham, July 18, 
Aug. 4 and Sept. 18; to Heneage, July 18 and Aug. 4, all in Carcw. 


together, the crews, sick and hungry as they were, might have CHAP. 

made some dangerous combination with the natives. But ', '-^ 

the Duke of Medina Sidonia, with fifty-two ships, managed 
to weather the Irish coast. This was owing to the advice 
of Calderon, who was the only officer with him that knew our 
shores, and who had a proper horror of the terrible west 
coast of Ireland. Admiral Recalde, a distinguished sailor, but Admiral 
with less local knowledge, parted company with the Duke off 
the Shetlands. When the storm moderated he had twenty- 
seven sail with him, but by the time he reached Kerry these 
were reduced to three. There were twenty-five pipes of wine oil 
board, but no water except what had come from Spain, ' which 
stinketh marvellously.' There was very little bread, and the 
thirsty wretches could not eat their salt beef. Recalde 
anchored between the Blaskets and the main land, and sent 
for water. But Smerwick was close by, and no Kerry Catholic 
cared to run the risk of comforting the Queen's enemies. 
Recalde's ship, ' The Don John of Oporto,' was one of the 
largest in the whole Armada, containing 500 men, but of these 
100 were ill ; some died daily, and the strongest were scarcely 
able to stand. The masts were injured by the English shot 
and would not bear a press of canvas, yet there was nothing 
for it but to trust once more to those crazy spars. When Slea 
Head was passed, the immediate danger was over, and Recalde 
ultimately reached Corunna, but only to die of exhaustion 
four days after. He seems to have had some presentiment 
of disaster. When Medina Sidonia was appointed to com- 
mand the expedition, his Duchess wished him to decline the 
perilous honour. If he succeeded, she philosophically re- 
marked, he could be no more than Duke of Medina Sidonia ; 
whereas he would lose his reputation if he failed. ' Yes,' 
said Recalde significantly, ' if he returns.' * 

The noble landsman to whom Philip, with extraordinarv Misery 

of the 

1 Examination of Emanuel Fremoso and Emanuel Francisco, Sept. 12, Spaniards. 
1588 ; James Trant, sovereign of Dingle, to Sir Edward Denny, Sept. 11 ; 
Bingham to Burghley, Aug. 26; Ormonde to Mr. Comerford, Sept. 18. 
Recalde's ship was burned by Drake at Corunna in April 1589 ; she had 
then sixty-eight pieces of brass cannon. See Duro's Armada Invenoible, ii. 
446. ' Cuando torne ' were Recalde's words. 



Wreck off 

hanged at 

folly, entrusted the greatest fleet which the world had yet 
seen, had probably no choice but to make his way homewards 
as best he might. Unable to cope with the English or to co- 
operate with Parma, a great seaman might perhaps have been 
equally unsuccessful in attaining the objects of the expedition. 
But a chief of even ordinary capacity might have managed to 
ship some fresh water on the Faroes or the Shetlands. Neither 
on those islands nor on the Norwegian coast could any serious 
resistance have been offered ; but the chance was lost and the 
consequences of this neglect were frightful. Wine was but a 
poor substitute, and some of the victuals were as unwhole- 
some as the foul water. Among other things lime had been 
mixed with the biscuit, and for this many bakers in Spain 
were afterwards hanged. The ships were so much damaged, 
and the men so weak, that it was often impossible to keep clear 
of the coast. One unfortunate vessel, named ' Our Lady of the 
Rose,' foundered in the Sound of Blasket, in sight of the open 
water which Recalde had reached. The Genoese pilot had 
probably no local knowledge, and steered her on to a sunken 
rock, where she went down with 500 men on board ; but not 
before an officer had killed the poor Italian for supposed 
treason. The pilot's son alone escaped, by swimming, to tell 
the tale. Among the doomed was the young prince of Ascoli, 
said to be a son of Philip's, who had originally sailed with. 
Medina Sidonia and had taken a boat at Calais, had failed to 
regain the admiral's ship, and had sought refuge upon that 
which had now gone to the bottom. A small vessel, which seems 
to have had no boat, was driven into Tralee Bay. Three men 
swam ashore and offered to surrender, saying they had friends 
at Waterford who would ransom them ; but the names of 
those friends they refused to disclose. Lady Denny hanged 
the whole crew, consisting of twenty-four Spaniards, on the 
ground that there was no way of keeping them safely. Norris 
afterwards regretted that this had been done, but he also at 
first dreaded a landing in force. 1 

1 Examination of Juan Antonio of Genoa, Sept. 15 ; Vice-President 
Norris to Walsingham, Sept. 8 and 9 ; William Herbert to Fitzwilliam, 
Feb. 1589; Peter Grant's news under Feb. 28. 


Seven ships were driven into the Shannon, and lay for a 
short time off Carrigaholt. The Spaniards burned one which 
was too leaky to go to sea again. Another was wrecked in 
Dunbeg Bay, on the other side of Loop Head, and between 
200 and 300 men were drowned. Another was lost at Trumree, 
a few miles farther north, and the names of Spanish Point 
and Mai Bay are believed to commemorate the impression 
which these disasters left upon the native mind. 300 men 
who landed were slain by the sheriff, in obedience to Bingham's 
orders. Another ship lay for a time at Liscannor, where there 
is little or no shelter, but the crew were unable to land ; one 
of her two boats was washed ashore, and a large oil-jar found 
in her showed that water was the Spaniards' great want. 
Other ships were seen off fche Arran Islands, and one of 200 
tons came within a mile of Galway. It is not recorded that 
any of these were lost ; but neither does it appear that any 
were relieved. They drifted away in misery, the men dying 
daily, and the survivors having to work, though themselves 
in a condition very little better than that of the fabulous 
Ancient Mariner. 1 

The ocean waves which roll into Clew Bay are partly Wreck in 

. . Clew Bay. 

broken by the island of Clare, which belonged in the six- 
teenth century to the O'Malleys a clan famous as sea- 

1 Nicholas Kahane to the Mayor of Limerick, Sept. 12 ; George Wood- 
loke to the Mayor of Waterford, Sept. 10 ; Boetius Clancy, sheriff of Clare, 
to Bingham, Sept. 6. Mr. James Frost, of Limerick, writes as follows : 
' One ship was driven upon the rocks at a place called Spanish Point 
(Rinn na Spainig) near Miltown Malbay. . . . The tradition is that the 
other ship was driven ashore at a place called Ballagh-a-line, not far from 
Lisdoonvarna. Boetius Clancy of Knockfime, a place one mile distant from 
the scene, was sheriff of Clare in that year. He ordered such of the crew 
as came alive on the shore to be hanged, and they were buried in one pit 
near the church of Killilagh. The place of execution has been long since 
called Knockacroghery (the hangman's hill) and the tumulus of earth 
heaped over the dead Spaniards is called Tuaim na Sjtamig. In a few 
years afterwards, peace being restored between England and Spain, a re- 
quest was made to the English Government for permission to exhume the 
body of the son of one of the first grandees of Spain, who had been on 
board the lost ship, in order to its removal home for burial. Consent was 
given, but the body having been placed with the rest in one grave, could 
not be found. Clancy was greatly blamed by all parties for his inhu- 




tered by 
the Irish. 

Wrecks in 




rovers and fislierraen. The western half of the island 
consists of a heathery mountain, which is said to harbour 
grouse, though other grouse are so far away, The eastern 
half is cultivated; but as late as 1870 there were no roads 
in the island, no wheeled vehicles, and only a single saddle, 
reserved for the annual visit of the agent. A native leaning 
on his spade, and lamenting the badness of the potatoes, 
asked a stray visitor if there were any news of the world. 
Upon these lonely rocks a large ship, commanded by Don 
Pedro de Mendoza, foundered with 700 men. Less than 100 
had landed two days before, and these were all slaughtered 
by Dowdary Roe O'Malley, for the sake of the gold which 
they had brought with them. Mendoza tried to escape 
with some fishing-boats, but he shared the fate of his men, 
much to Bingham's regret. One poor Spaniard and an 
Irishman of Wexford were spared out of 800. At 
Ormonde's village of Burrishoole farther up the bay a ship 
of 1,000 tons and fifty-four guns was driven ashore. Most 
of those on board were lost, but sixteen landed with gold 
chains and surrendered to the Earl's tenant. It was reported 
in London that the Duke of Medina Sidonia was among 
them, and Ormonde sent over a special messenger with 
orders to seize all that was valuable, to let the Duke ride his 
own horse, and not to put him in irons, but to treat him 
as the greatest prince in Spain. But Ormonde was not 
fortunate enough to capture this rich prize, nor is it likely 
that any of the plunder was reserved for him. 1 

In the western part of Galway two vessels were wrecked, 
one of them being the ' White Falcon ' with Don Luis de 
Cordova and his company. The OTlaherties were at first 
disposed to shelter and befriend the strangers, but Bingham 
made proclamation that anyone who harboured Spaniards for 
more than four hours would be reputed as traitors. Many 
were brought to Galway accordingly, where 300 were 
straightway executed by the Provost Marshal, who was then 
sent to exercise his office in O'Flaherty's country and to do 

1 Edwarde Whyte to Walsingham, Sept. 30 ; Ormonde to Comerford, 
Sept. 18. 


what he could towards saving ordnance and munitions ; and CHAP. 

other officers were sent into Mayo with similar instructions. < , '* 

Of the prisoners at Galway forty picked men were reserved 
for Bingham's decision, of whom thirty were afterwards exe- 
cuted. Don Luis and nine others were spared, as likely to be 
worth ransom, or to be able to give useful information. 1 

The most famous Spaniard in the Armada was Alonso de Alonso do 
Leyva, who was in command of the troops, and who would eyvs 
have acted as general had the invaders effected a landing in 
force. Even at sea he was the second in command, and had 
a commission to take supreme direction in case anything 
should happen to the Duke of Medina Sidonia. De Leyva 
had been suspected of intriguing for the command during 
the life of Santa Cruz, and even of thwarting that great 
seaman's preparations. He had served under Don John 
in Flanders, where he raised a famous battalion consisting 
entirely of half-pay officers, and afterwards in Sicily and 
Italy ; and had resigned command of the cavalry at Milan 
on purpose to take part in the expedition against England. 
When the Armada actually sailed he had charge of the van- 
guard, and had pressed the Duke hard to attack the English 
in Plymouth Sound, where their superior seamanship would 
avail them little. The guns of the fort, he said, would be 
silent, for their fire would do as much harm to one side as 
to the other. This bold advice was probably wise, but 
Medina Sidonia was not the man to take it. At a later 
period De Leyva is said to have directly accused the Duke 
of cowardice, and to have been threatened by him with the 
penalty of death his only answer to every criticism. 

He himself sailed on board the ' Rata,' a ship of 820 His ship 
tons, 35 guns, and 419 men, of whom only 84 were seamen, lowers. 
Among the landsmen were many noble adventurers, who 
were desirous of sesing war under so famous a captain. 
When the fleet parted company the ' Bata ' remained with 
Recalde, and went as far as 62 north latitude ; the object 
being to reach Ireland and to refit there. The increasing cold 

1 Edwarde Whyte to Walsingham, with discourse enclosed, Sept. 30; 
examination of Don Luis de Cordova, Oct. 1. 





de Leyra 
wrecked in 

and again 
in Donegal. 

frustrated this plan, and the half-sinking ships staggered 
southward again in the direction of Spain. 1 

' The ' Rata ' was driven, much disabled, into Blacksod 
Bay, and anchored off Ballycroy. The sailing-master was 
Giovanni Avancini, an Italian, who, with fourteen of his 
countrymen, being ill-treated by the Spaniards, stole the 
ship's only boat and wandered off into the country, where 
they were robbed and imprisoned by the ' Devil's Hook's son ' 
and others of the Burkes. De Leyva then sent men ashore 
on casks, who recovered the boat, and the whole ship's 
company were brought safe to land. They then entrenched 
themselves strongly in an old castle near the sea. Two days 
later, the ' Rata ' was driven on to the beach. A boat full of 
treasure, besides such unaccustomed wares as velvet and 
cloth of gold, fell into the hands of the natives, and the ill- 
fated ship was fired where she lay. Meanwhile the transport 
' Duquesa Santa Ana,' of 900 tons, drifted to the same remote 
haven. She had 300 or 400 men on board, who had been 
specially levied in honour of the Duchess of Medina Sidonia, 
but room was somehow made for all De Leyva's people, and 
the transport set sail for Spain. The overladen craft had 
no chance against a head wind, and was driven into Loughros 
Bay, in Donegal. The shelter was bad, the cables parted, 
and the ' Santa Ana ' went on the rocks ; but here, again, no 
lives were lost. The shipwrecked men encamped for several 
days, and heard that the ' Gerona,' one of the four great 
Neapolitan galleasses which the luckless Hugo de Moncada 
had commanded, was lying in Killybegs Harbour. De Leyva 
had been hurt in the leg by the capstan during the confusion 
on board the ' Santa Ana,' and could neither walk nor ride. 
He was carried nineteen miles across the mountains between 
four men, and encamped at Killybegs for a fortnight, while 
the galeass was undergoing repairs. He despaired of reaching 
Spain in such a crazy bark, and determined, if possible, to 
land in Scotland. The Spaniards were, in the meantime, 

1 Euro, i. 34, 44, 200, ii. 374, 440, ib. 6fi-70 for the names of the noble 
volunteers, among whom is Manuel Paleologo,' with two followers. 
Froude, xii. 503. 


dependent on MacSwiney Banagh for food, and that chief 
was afraid of bringing famine on his country. At first, the 
unbidden guests had beef and mutton, but afterwards they 
were obliged to buy horseflesh. 1 

Some of the Irish pressed De Leyva to stay and to be Alonso de 
their general against the English heretics, but he pleaded a tUrd 8 *" 13 
that he had no commission to do any such thing. He does, time ' 
however, seem to have had some idea of wintering in Ulster, 
which he abandoned either on account of the difficulty of 
getting provisions, or because he saw no chance of defeating 
Fitzwilliam, whose arrival in Ulster was constantly expected. 
And he may have thought that the MacSwineys were not 
altogether to be trusted. The ' Gerona ' had been made 
seaworthy with MacSwiney's help, and by using the 
materials of another wreck, but she would not hold anything 
like the whole of his people. The bulk of them were willing 
to take their chance of a passage to Scotland, and, in the 
meanwhile, to make friends with the natives, and to join 
their fortunes to those of their shipwrecked countrymen. 
The galeass originally carried 300 galley-slaves, who could 
not be dispensed with, and less than that number of soldiers 
and sailors combined. It may be therefore assumed that she 
put off from Killybegs with not far short of 600 men on 
board. Her pilots were three Irishmen and a Scot. 

The noble volunteers all shared the fortunes of their 
chief. The ' Gerona ' was a floating castle rather than a 
ship, built for the Mediterranean, and for fine weather, and 
utterly unsuited for the work required. Nevertheless she b uti9 
weathered Malin Head, and may even have sighted the fi ff a i ly ^ st 
Scotch coast. The wind came ahead, or the leaks gained 
upon the pumps no one will ever know exactly what 
happened. For some time the fate of Don Alonso was 
doubtful; but about the beginning of December it became 

1 The most circumstantial account of De Leyva's adventures, so far, is 
the deposition, taken on Dec. 29, of James Machary, a Tipperary man who 
was on board the ' Santa Ana.' Other particulars are in the ' discourse ' 
sent by E. 1 Whyte to Walsingham on Sept. 30. See also Fitzwilliam to 
Burghley, Oct. 27, with, ^he enclosures; Duro,\. 171 Gerald Comerford 
to Bingham, Sept. 13. 

N 2 




ance of De 

Wrecks in 

certainly known that the galeass had gone to pieces on the 
rock of Bunboys, close to Dunluce. But five persons, of 
no consequence, escaped, nor were any of the bodies iden- 
tified. Hidalgos and galley-slaves shared the same watery 
grave. 1 

Alonso de Leyva is described as ' long-bearded, tall, and 
slender, of a whitely complexion, of a flaxen and smooth 
hair, of behaviour mild and temperate, of speech good and 
deliberate, greatly reverenced not only of his own men, but 
generally of all the whole company;' and Philip said that 
he mourned his loss more than that of the Armada. It was 
well for England that the sovereign who rated Don Alonso 
so highly had not given him the supreme command, for the 
' brag countenance,' which stood Lord Howard in such good 
stead would not then have been allowed to pass unchallenged. 
The loss of the ' Gerona ' brought mourning into many of 
the noblest houses in Spain and Italy. ' The gentlemen were 
so many,' says a Spanish castaway, who visited the fatal 
spot, ' that a list of their names would fill a quire of paper.' 
Among them were the Count of Paredes, and his brother 
Don Francisco Manrique, and Don Thomas de Granvela, the 
Cardinal's nephew. 2 

Three large ships were wrecked on the seaboard imme- 
ately to the north of Sligo Bay. A survivor recorded their 
failure to double the ' Cabo di Clara,' owing to a head wind. 
Ems Head was probably the actual promontory, and the 
Spaniards must have thought it was Cape Clear. Their 
ignorance of the coast is evident, and it seems certain that 

1 Bingham to the Queen, Dec. 3; Fitzwilliam, &c., to the Privy Council, 
Dec. 31 ; Duro, ii. 65 ; advertisement by Henry Duke, Oct. 26. 

* Machary's examination, Dec. 29, and that of George Venerey, a Cretan. 
Duro, ii. 66-70, 364. The gentleman-adventurers who sailed both on the 
' Rata ' and ' Santa Ana ' were doubtless collected on board the ' Gerona.' 
Captain Merriman, writing to Fitzwilliam on Oct. 26, says 260 bodies were 
washed ashore, as well as certain wine, which was appropriated by Sorley 
Boy MacDonnell. A small cove close to the Giant's Causeway is still 
called Port-na-Spania. There is a local tradition that the fallen pillars of 
basalt on the height were knocked down by the Spanish gunners, who 
mistook them for Dunluce Castle ; but they were not thinking of bombard- 
ing castles just then. 


they mistook the north-west corner of Connaught for the CHAP 

south-west corner of Munster. Cape Clear was well known r - 

by name, and they would have been in no danger after 
doubling it. As it was, the west coast was a trap into 
which they drifted helplessly. Even of those who succeeded 
in rounding the Mullet we have seen that few escaped. Of 
the three who were lost near Sligo, one was the ' San Juan 
de Sicilia,' carrying Don Diego Enriquez, son of the Viceroy 
of New Spain and an officer of high rank. They anchored 
half a league from shore. For four days the weather was 
thick, and on the fifth a stiff nor'-wester drove them all 
aground. The best anchors lay off Calais, and there was no 
chance of working her off shore, for sails and rigging were 
injured by the English shot. The beach was of fine sand, 
but there were rocks outside, and in one hour the three ships, 
badly fastened in the best of times, and kept afloat only by 
frequent caulking, had completely broken up. Don Diego, 
foreseeing this, got into a decked boat with the Count of 
Villafranca's son, two Portuguese gentlemen, and more than 
16,000 ducats in money and jewels, and ordered the hatches 
to be battened down. With a proper crew she might have 
reached land safely, but more than seventy despairing wretches 
flung themselves into her, and the first great wave swept 
them all into the sea. The imprisoned hidalgos had no 
control over the boat, which was driven on to the beach 
bottom upwards. More than thirty-six hours later the 
natives came to rifle her, and dragged out the bodies. Three 
were dead, and Don Diego expired immediately after his release. 
According to the Spanish account more than 1,000 were Great loss 
drowned altogether, and less than 300 escaped, and this agrees 
pretty well with what we learn from English sources. ' At my 
late being at Sligo,' says Fenton, ' I numbered in one strand 
of less than five miles in length above 1,100 dead corpses 
of men which the sea had driven upon the shore, and, 
as the country people told me, the like was in other places, 
though not of like number.' l 

1 Cuellar's narrative in JDuro, ii. 342 ; Sir Geoffrey Fenton to Burghley, 
Oct. 28. The following is from Col. Wood Martin's History of Sligo, 1882 : 



by the 


The smallest of the three ships was that which carried 
Don Martin de Aranda, who acted as judge-advocate-general 
or provost-marshal to the Armada, and who had been ordered 
by the Duke of Medina Sidonia to hang Don Cristobal de 
Avila and Captain Francisco de Cuellar for leaving their places 
in the line. The first was actually hanged, and carried 
round the fleet at the yard-arm of a despatch boat to encourage 
the rest. Cuellar was spared at the provost-marshal's earnest 
request, and with him he remained until the loss of the ship. 
He stood on the poop to the last, whence he saw hundreds 
perish and a few reach the shore astride on barrels and beams, 
who rejoice to be murdered in many cases, and stripped in all, by ' 200 

over their J . * 

savages and other enemies, who skipped and danced with 
joy at the disaster which brought them plunder. Don Martin 
de Aranda came to Cuellar in tears, both sewed coin into their 
clothes and after some struggles found themselves together 
upon the floating cover of a hatchway. Covered with blood 
and injured in both legs, Cuellar was washed ashore, but Don 
Martin was drowned. ' May God pardon him,' says the 
survivor, and perhaps he needed pardon, for it was he who 
had signed the order to kill all the French prisoners after 
the fight at Terceiras. Unobserved by the wreckers, Cuellar 
crawled away, stumbling over many stark naked Spanish 
corpses. Shivering with cold and in great pain he lay down 
in some rushes, where he was joined by ' a cavalier, a very 
gentle boy,' who was afterwards discovered to be a person of 
consequence, stripped to the skin, and in such terror that 
he could not even say who he was. He himself was a mere 
sponge full of blood and water, half-dead with pain and 
hunger ; and in this state he had to pass the night. Two 
armed natives who chanced to pass took pity on them, covered 
them with rushes and grass which they cut for the purpose, 

4 The largest of the galleons struck on a reef (from that circumstance called 
Carrig-na-Spania, or the Spaniard's Kock) situated off the little island of 
Derninsh, parish of Ahamlish. On the map of the Sligo coast (A.D. 1609) is 
placed opposite to this island the following observation : " Three Spanish 
ships here cast away in A.D. 1588." ' The bodies lay on Streedagh strand, 
and cannon-balls and bones have been cast up there within the last few 


some are 




and then went off to take their part in the wrecking. Green CHAP. 
as the covering was, it probably saved Cuellar's life, but at ^^ 
daybreak he found, to his great sorrow, that the poor, gentle 
lad was dead. 1 

Slowly and painfully Cuellar made his way to what he Adven- 

J J J turesof 

calls a monastery, probably the round tower and church of Francisco 
Drumcliff, which is about five miles from the scene of the 
shipwreck. He found no living friends in this ancient founda- 
tion of St. Columba, but only the bodies of twelve Spaniards, 
hanged ' by the Lutheran English ' to the window gratings 
inside the church. An old woman, who was driving her 
cows away for fear of the soldiers, advised him to go back 
to the sea, where he was joined by two naked Spaniards. 
Miserable as they were, they picked out the corpse of Don 
Diego from among more than 400, and buried him in a hole 
dug in the sand, ' with another much-honoured captain, a 
great friend of mine.' Two hundred savages came to see 
what they were doing, and they explained by signs that they 
were saving their brethren from the wolves and crows, which 
had already begun their ghastly work. As they were looking 
for any chance biscuits which the sea might have cast up 
four natives proposed to strip Cuellar, who alone had some 
clothes, but another of higher rank protected him. While 
on his way to this friendly partisan's village, he met two 
armed young men, an Englishman and a Frenchman, and a A devout 
' most extremely beautiful ' girl of twenty, who prevented the damsel - 
Englishman from killing, but not from stripping, the wretched 
Spaniard. A gold chain worth 1,000 reals was found round 
his neck, and forty-five ducats sewn up in his doublet, being 
two months' pay received before leaving Corunna. He pro- 
tested that he was only a poor soldier, but it was nevertheless 
proposed to detain him as worth ransom. Cuellar records, 
with some complacency, that the girl pitied him much, and 
begged them to return his clothes and to do him no more 
harm. His doublet was restored, but not his shirt, nor a relic 
of great repute which he had brought from Lisbon, and which 
' the savage damsel hung round her neck, saying, by signs, 
1 Duro, i. 123, ii. 343-347. 






A visit to 

Cuellar is 
enslaved by 
a smith ; 

but escapes 
to Mac- 

that she meant to keep it, and that she was a Christian, 
being as much like one as Mahomet was.' A boy was ordered 
to take him to a hut, to put a plaster of herbs on his wound, 
and to give him milk, butter, and oatmeal cake. 1 

Cuellar was directed towards the territory of O'Rourke, 
narrowly escaped a band of English soldiers, was beaten and 
stripped naked by forty ' Lutheran savages ' not easily iden- 
tified, mistook two naked Spaniards for devils in the dark, 
joined them, and at last, after enduring almost incredible 
hardships, reached the friendly chiefs house, partly wrapped 
in straw and fern. O'Rourke had many houses. This one 
may have been Dromahaire, near to the eastern extremity of 
Lough Gill. It was a castle, and Cuellar calls it a hut, the 
probability being that thatched outhouses were generally 
occupied, and that the stone keep was little used except for 
defence. Everyone pitied the stranger, and one man gave him 
a ragged old blanket full of lice. Twenty other Spaniards 
came to the same place, reporting a large ship not far off. 
Cuellar was unable to keep up with them, and thus failed to 
embark on a vessel which was soon afterwards wrecked. All 
that escaped the sea were killed by the soldiers. Cuellar then 
fell in with a priest, who was dressed in secular habit for fear 
of the English, and who spoke in Latin. Following his 
directions the Spaniard sought the castle of MacClancy, a 
chief under O'Rourke who held the country south and west of 
Lough Melvin, and who was a great enemy of Queen Elizabeth. 
A savage whom he met enticed him to his cabin in a lonely 
glen. The man turned out to be a smith, who set his prisoner 
to blow the bellows. This lasted for eight days, and as the 
old man of the sea refused to let Sindbad go, so did this old 
man of the mountains declare that Cuellar should stay all 
his life with him. The Spaniard worked steadily for fear of 
being thrown into the fire by this ' wicked, savage smith 
and his accursed hag of a wife.' The friendly priest then 
appeared, and owing to his exertions, four natives and one 
Spaniard were sent by MacClancy to release Cuellar. He 
found ten of his shipwrecked countrymen with MacClancy, 
1 Euro, ii. 347-360. 


and everyone pitied him, especially the women, for he had no 
covering but straw. ' They fitted me out,' he says, ' as well 
as they could with one of their country mantles, and during ^ 
my stay of three months I became as great a savage as they 
were.' Cuellar seems to have been susceptible to female in- 
fluences, for he remarks that his host's wife was extremely 
beautiful and very kind to him, and he spent a good deal of 
time in telling her fortune and those of her fair relatives and 
friends. This was amusing at first, but when men and less 
interesting women began to consult him he was forced to 
apply to his host for protection. MacClancy would not let 
him go, but gave general orders that no one should annoy 
him. 1 

An account of an Irish household by a foreigner who had A wild 

,. ., , , Irish 

lived among the people for months, and whose sight was not household, 
coloured by English prejudice, is so rare a thing that Cuellar's 
may well be given in full. 

< The habit of those savages is to live like brutes in the 
mountains, which are very rugged in the part of Ireland 
where we were lost. They dwell in thatched cabins. The The men. 
men are well-made, with good features, and as active as deer. 
They eat but one meal, and that late at night, oat-cake 
and butter being their usual food. They drink sour milk 
because they have nothing else, for they use no water, though 
they have the best in the world. At feasts it is their custom 
to eat half-cooked meat without bread or salt. Their dress 
matches themselves tight breeches, and short loose jackets 
of very coarse texture ; over all they wear blankets, and their 
hair comes over their eyes. They are great walkers and stand 
much work, and by continually fighting they keep the Queen's 
English soldiers out of their country, which is nothing but 
bogs for forty miles either way. Their great delight is robbing 
one another, so that no day passes without fighting, for when- 

1 Duro, ii. 350-358. The chief who sheltered Cuellar is called by him 
Manglana, and in the State Papers MacGlannagh or MacGlannahie. ' The 
barony of Rossclogher in Leitrim,' says O'Donovan, was the territory of 
the family of Mag-Flannchadha, now anglicised MacClancy.' Irish Topo- 
graphical Poems, xxxvii. 268. 




The wo- 

The Iri h 
rob the 
but save 
their lives. 

ings of 

ever the people of one hamlet know that those of another 
possess cattle or other goods, they immediately make a night 
attack and kill each other. When the English garrisons find 
out who has lifted the most cattle, they come down on them, 
and they have but to retire to the mountains with their wives 
and herds, having no houses or furniture to lose. They sleep 
on the ground upon rushes full of water and ice. Most of 
the women are very pretty, but badly got up, for they wear 
only a shift and a mantle, and a great linen cloth on the head, 
rolled over the brow. They are great workers and house- 
wives in their way. These people call themselves Christians, 
and say Mass. They follow the rule of the Roman Church, 
but most of their churches, monasteries, and hermitages are 
dismantled by the English soldiers, and by their local partisans, 
who are as bad as themselves. In short there is no order nor 
justice in the country, and everyone does that which is right 
in his own eyes. .The savages are well affected to us Spaniards, 
because they realise that we are attacking the heretics and 
are their great enemies. If it was not for those natives who 
kept us as if belonging to themselves, not one of our people 
would have escaped. We owe them a good turn for that, 
though they were the first to rob and strip us when we were 
cast on shore. From whom and from the three ships which 
contained so many men of importance, those savages reaped 
a rich harvest of money and jewels. ' l 

Cuellar helped MacClancy to defend his castle against the 
Lord Deputy, and the chief was as unwilling to let him go as 
the smith had been. He escaped with four other Spaniards, 
during the first days of the new year, and after three weeks' 
hardship in the mountains found himself at Dunluce in Antrim, 
where Alonso de Leyva had been lost. He was told that his 
only chance of a passage to Scotland was by some boats 
belonging to O'Cahan, which were expected to sail soon. The 
wound in his leg had broken out afresh, and he was unable 
to stand for some days. His companions left him to shift for 
himself, and after a painful walk to Coleraine he found that 

1 Duro, ii. 358-360. Cuellar calls all the Irish men and women, chiefs 
and kerne by the same name, ' salvajes." 


the boats had gone. There was a garrison there, and he had 
to take shelter in a mountain hut, where some women com- 
passionately nursed him. In six weeks his wound was well 
enough to enable him to seek an interview with O'Cahan, but 
that chief, who was afraid to help any Spaniard, had gone 

upon a foray with the soldiers. ' I was now,' he says, ' able A narrow 
* J % ' > 7 escape. 

to show myself in the town, which was of thatched houses, 
and there were some very pretty girls, with whom I struck up 
a great friendship and often visited their house to converse. 
One afternoon when I was there, two young Englishmen came 
in, and one of them, who was a sergeant, asked me if I was a 
Spaniard, and what I did there. I said yes, and that I was 
one of Don Alonso de Luzon's soldiers who had surrendered, 
that my bad leg had prevented me from going with the rest, 
and that I was at their service to do their bidding. They 
said they hoped soon to take me with them to Dublin, where 
there were many Spaniards of note in prison. I replied that 
I could not walk, but was very willing to accompany them. 
They then sent for a horse, and their suspicions being set at 
rest, they began to romp with the girls. The mother made 
me signs to leave, which I did very quickly, jumping over 
ditches and going through thick covert till I came within 
view of O'Cahan's castle. At nightfall I followed a road which 
led me to a great lagoon.' This was probably Lough Foyle, 
and here he was befriended by herdsmen, one of whom, after 
a visit to Coleraine, told him that he had seen the two English- 
men ' raging in search ' of him. He kept his counsel, but 

advised Cuellar to remove into the mountains. He was con- A friendly 

ducted to the hiding-place of a bishop, ' a very good Christian,' 

who prudently dressed like the country folk. ' I assure you,' 
writes the devout Spaniard, ' that I could not restrain my 
tears when I came to kiss his hand.' It seems almost certain 
that this was Redmond O'Gallagher, papal bishop of Derry 
and acting Primate, one of the three Irish prelates who had 
attended the Council of Trent. He had twelve other Spaniards 
with him, and by his help Cuellar managed to reach Scotland. 
' He was a reverend and just man,' says the latter ; ' may God's 
hand keep him free from his enemies.' 


Four shiploads of castaways from the Armada were ulti- 
mately despatched from Scotland, and were not molested by 
cape of & ~ the English, to whom they were no longer dangerous ; but 
Cueiiar. Cuellar was wrecked once more near Dunkirk, and saw 270 
of his companions butchered by the Dutch. At last, in 
October 1589, fourteen months after his narrow escape from 
swinging at the Duke of Medina Sidonia's yard-arm, did 
this much-enduring man reach Antwerp, which was then in 
the hands of Alexander Farnese, and from thence he wrote 
the account which has been so largely used. 1 

More than It is not possible to trace the history of every ship lost on 
ships iost the Irish coast. Bingham, in a letter written when all was 
m Ireland overj gavs twelve ships were wrecked in his province, which 
included Clare, and that probably two or three more foun- 
dered about various islands. He particularly excluded those 
lost in Ulster and Munster. In a paper signed by Secretary 
Fenton the total number of vessels lost is given as eighteen, but 
full accounts had not yet come in, and that number certainly 
falls short of the truth. Cuellar says that more than twenty 
were lost in the kingdom of Ireland, with all the chivalry and 
flower of the Armada. 2 

1 The work quoted is La Armada, Inveneible^ by Captain Cesareo 
Fernandez Duro of the Spanish navy, Madrid, 1885. For my first acquaint- 
ance with this book, which deserves translation, I am indebted to a charm- 
ing article by Lord Ducie in the Nineteenth Century for September 1885. 
Neither Captain Duro nor Lord Ducie can explain the words ' D. Reimundo 
Termi Obispo de Times,' nor can I. The Irish word Termon may have 
something to do with it, but whatever ' Termi ' and ' Times ' may mean, 
' Reimundo ' is good enough Spanish for Redmond. A year later Bishop 
O'Gallagher is mentioned in a State paper as ' Legate to the Pope and 
custos Armaghnen .... using all manner of spiritual jurisdiction through- 
out all Ulster .... these twenty-six years past and more.' The Spanish 
captain's prayer was heard till 1601, when the bishop was killed by the 
English not far from the place where Cuellar had kissed his hand. 
Brady's Episcopal Succession, s.v. Four Masters, 1601. Note of Popish 
bishops, &c. by Miler Magrath, calendared at Dec. 17, 1590. 

2 From a careful comparison of accounts I venture to distribute the 
wrecks as follows : 

1. To the south of Slea Head (' in Desmond ' Fenton says) ; 

1. 'Nuestra Senora della Rosa ' (945 tons, 26 guns, and 297 men), between 

Slea Head and the Blaskets ; 
1. Deserted and burned near Carrigaholt in Clare ; 
1 . At Dunbeg in Clare ; 


According to Fenton's account 6,194 men belonging to 
the eighteen ships whose loss he records, were 'drowned, 

Great loss 

killed, and taken.' This does not include those who escaped, of life. 
nor the men belonging to ships not comprised in his list. At 
the end of October the number of Spaniards alive in Donegal Donegal, 
alone was not far short of 3,000. About 500 escaped from 
Ulster to Scotland 'miserable, ragged creatures, utterly 
spoiled by the Irishry ' and some of their descendants 
remain there to this day, and preserve the tradition of their 
origin. Very few of them reached Spain, and on the whole, 
we may believe that the number of subjects lost to Philip II. 
out of that part of the fleet which was lost in Ireland, 
cannot have been much short of 10,000. ' In my province,' 
says Bingham, 'there hath perished at the least 6,000 or 
7,000 men, of which there hath been put to the sword by 
my brother George, and executed one way and another, about 
700 or 800, or upwards. Bingham spared some Dutchmen 

1 . At Trumree in Clare ; 

1. The ' White Falcon ' (500 tons, 16 guns, 197 men), in Connemara ; 

2. In Clew Bay (of which one was the ' Eata,' 820 tons, 35 guns, 419 men); 

1. In Tyrawley ; 

3. Near Sligo, the ' San Juan de Sicilia,' one of them (800 tons, 26 guns, 342 


2. At uncertain places in Connaught ; 
2. AtKillybegs; 

1. The transport 'Duquesa Santa Ana' (900 tons, 23 guns, 357 men), at 

Loughros Bay ; 
1. In Boylagh, Donegal; 
1. The 'Trinidad Valencera' (1,100 tons, 42 guns, 360 men), on the Innis- 

howen side of Lough Foyle ; 
1. The 'Gerona' galeass (50 guns, 290 men), between Dunluce and the 


This makes twenty, and there were probably two or three more lost. 
The Barca de Amburg' (600 tons, 23 guns, 264 men) sank off the coast 

The numbers of men given in this note are from the Spanish official 
list (Duro, ii. 60), but we know that many were transferred from one 
vessel to another. See, besides the authorities already cited, Fenton's 
note calendared at Sept. 19, 1588, and Bingham to the Queen, Dec. 3. 
Other ships mentioned in Spanish accounts as having been lost in Ireland 
are the galleon ' San Juan Battista ' (750 tons, 24 guns, 243 men) ; the 
' Anunciada ' (703 tons, 24 guns, 275 men), and the transports, ' Gran 
Grifon ' (650 tons, 38 guns, 286 men), and Santiago ' (600 tons, 19 guns, 86 
men). Duro, ii. 328. 


CHAP, and boys, as probably engaged against their wills, but these 
were executed by the Lord Deputy himself when he visited 

Athlone. Twenty-four survivors from a wreck were executed 
at Tralee, but this was done in a panic, and was quite un- 
necessary. Munster was indeed too thoroughly subdued to 
make the presence of a few Spaniards dangerous. In 
Ulster the arm of the Government scarcely reached the cast- 
aways until they were no longer of much importance. Even 
the native Irish did not always spare those who had come 
to deliver them. The MacSwineys killed forty at one 
place in Donegal. Plunder was no doubt the object, as it 
had been in Tyrawley and in Clare island, but a desire to 
curry favour with the Government had also a good deal to 
say to it. It was only in those parts of Ulster and Connaught 
where the power of the chiefs was still unbroken, that the 
Spaniards received any kind of effectual help. 1 
Tyrone and Tyrone did what he could for the Spaniards by sending 

O'Donnell. J 

them provisions, and he bitterly reproved O'Donnell, who 
with his eldest son had helped the Government against them. 
Other O'Donnells joined the strangers, and the chief does not 
seem to have carried his country with him. His MacDonnell 
wife made no secret of her intention to employ the foreigners 
for her own purposes. Tyrone himself was careful not to 
commit any overt act, and indeed professed the utmost loyalty, 
but he took the opportunity to renew his complaints against 
Tirlogh Luineach. Two brothers named Ovington or 
Hovenden, who were partly in his service and partly in the 
Queen's, skirmished with the Spaniards wrecked in Innishowen 
and brought most of them prisoners to Dungannon; but 
many of their soldiers ran away, and their own good faith 
was much suspected. The MacSwineys all helped the 
Spaniards more or less, and O'Dogherty complained that they 
transferred them to his country as soon as their own had been 
eaten up. With men and boats he had saved many hundreds 

1 Note by Fenton, Sept. 19; Bingham to Fitzwilliam, Sept. 21 and Oct. 
10 ; to the Queen, Dec. 3 ; Norris to Walsingham, Sept. 8 and 9 ; adver- 
tisements from Henry Duke, Oct. 26 ; Fitzwilliam, Loftus, and Fenton to 
the Privy Council, Dec. 31. 


from a wreck, but this was little more than common humanity CHAP. 
demanded. There were at one time about 3,000 Spaniards ' 

alive in Ulster. O'Rourke had given them arms ; Mac- 
Clancy interrupted the communications ; Ballymote, where less. 
George Bingham had a house, was burned by the O'Connors, 
O'Dowds, and O'Harts, who said they were making way for 
King Philip, and it was thought that Sligo must inevitably 
fall into their hands. Bingham's vigour disconcerted the 
plans of the confederates, and a good many of the Spaniards 
made their way to Scotland. A few continued to lurk in 
different parts of Ireland, down to 1592 at least, but it is 
hardly possible to believe, what is so often stated, that they 
were in numbers sufficient to leave traces upon the features 
and complexions of the natives. Spanish blood there may 
be in Ireland, but it is surely more reasonable to attribute it 
to the commerce which existed for centuries between a land 
of fish and a land of wine. 1 

The ship wrecked in O'Dogherty's country was the Wreck in 
' Trinidad Valencera ' of Venice. She had on board about 600 Foyie. 
men Spaniards, Greeks, and Italians; and of these 400, 
including more than 100 sick, were brought to shore, some 
of them with arms, but ' without even one biscuit.' ' The 
natives, who are savages,' had retired into the mountains, but 
they found some horses at grass, which they killed and ate. 
They were attacked by Tyrone's foster- brethren, Richard and 
Henry Hovenden, who made much of the glorious victory of 
140 over 600. The Spaniards said that they had surrendered 
on promise of their lives and of decent treatment ; but that 
their captors nevertheless stripped them naked and killed a 
great many, not more than eighty being reserved as prisoners. 
Among these was one who seemed to carry ' some kind of 
majesty.' This was probably Don Alonso de Luzon, chief of 
the tercio or brigade of Naples, who was distinguished by a 
pointed beard and a large moustache. De Luzon with several 

1 Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, Oct. 12, with twenty 
enclosures ; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Oct. 27, with six enclosures ; Solomon 
Farenan to Fitzwilliam, Feb. 18, 1589 ; Bingham to Fitzwilliam, Jan. 3, 
1592 ; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, May 9, 1592. 




The Irish 
got the 

Small gain 
to the 

Relics and 

other officers was brought to Drogheda, where they were told 
that those who had plundered them were not Englishmen but 
sons of the soil. Don Diego de Luzon and two others died 
after their arrival, and several had perished on the road. 
Don Alonso and Rodrigo de Lasso, who were both knights of 
Santiago, were sent to London for ransom, as well as Don 
Luis de Cordova and his nephew, the only prisoners whom 
Fitzwilliam allowed to live of those which Bingham had 
saved. More than fifty others were afterwards sent over, and 
something like 800. appears to have been paid by way of 
ransom for them all. 1 

The amount of plunder secured did not at all satisfy ex- 
pectation. Much treasure fell into the hands of the Irish, who 
regarded the wreckage as a godsend. The small arms and 
the lighter pieces of artillery were appropriated in the same 
way. The larger cannon were not so easily moved, and a 
few were recovered by Carew and others. One wedge of gold 
found its way to the Queen, and there were rumours of various 
costly articles which had been seized by officers or adventurers. 
The guns rescued for her Majesty hardly exceeded a dozen, 
and a few others were sent into Scotland by the MacDonnells, 
who also got hold of a good many doubloons. The relics 
which have been handed down to us are very few, but the 
memory of the invincible Armada is preserved by the names 
which have clung to some points of the Irish coast. 2 

By a strange reading of history it has lately been 
attempted to divest the Armada of its religious character. It 

1 Duro, ii. 450 sqq. ; examination of Don Alonso de Luzon, &c., Oct. 13, 
1588 ; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Dec. 31. Sir Horatio Pallavicino arranged 
with Walsingham for the ransoms; see his accounts, Dec. 1589, No. 85, and 
Oct. 31, 1591, also G. B. Guistiniano to Burghley, April 8, 1591. On 
March 14, 1594, Tyrone made it an article against Fitzwilliam that neither 
he nor the Hovendens had been rewarded for their service. 

2 Bingham to Fitzwilliam, Sept. 21, 1588; Sir W. Herbert to Walsing- 
ham, Dec. 27, 1588 ; Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, Dec. 
31 and Jan. 30, 1588-9 ; see also several letters in Carew from June 2 to 
Aug. 1, 1589. The most important relic that I know is a very handsome 
table preserved at Dromoland ; it was washed ashore near Miltown Malbay, 
and tradition says that it was ' in the admiral's cabin ; ' but Sidonia never 
went near the coast of Clare. Lord Inchiquin writes that a letter, supposed 
to be still extant, accompanied the table to Dromoland, but that he has 


is very true that some of Queen Elizabeth's subjects were con- CFIAP. 
spicuous by their loyalty, though they adhered to the commu- -- , '< 
nion of Rome : they were Englishmen first and Catholics Armada a 
afterwards. But it was against heresy and against the queen crusade - 
of heresy that Philip shot his bolt. One Spanish poem in 
honour of the Armada begins with an invocation of the 
Virgin ' conceived without sin,' and ends with some lines 
about turning the Lutherans into good Christians. Another 
poet laments that the wise, powerful, and warlike island of 
Britain had been changed from a temple of faith into a 
temple of heresy. The land which produced the Arthurs, 
the Edwards, and the Henrys, was now, he says, condemned 
to eternal infamy for submitting to a spindle instead of the 
sceptre and sword ; and he apostrophises Elizabeth as any- 
thing but a virgin queen, but rather as the wolfish offspring 
of an unchaste mother. Lope de Vega, who served in the 
Armada, contents himself with calling Philip the Christian 
Ulysses, and the Queen of England a false siren; and he 
avers that faith only despatched the vast fleet from the 
Spanish shore. 180 Spanish and Portuguese friars sailed in the 
Armada, Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelites, Augustinians, 
and Theatins being all represented ; and there were certainly irfsh 
some Irish ecclesiastics. ' Tomas Vitres ' is probably Thomas " a e r S d S on 
White of Clonmel, who became a Jesuit in 1593. There was 
also a friar named James ne Dowrough, who originally went 
to Spain with James Fitzmaurice, and who was cast upon the 
coast of Donegal, where the people paid him much respect. 
Some few Irish laymen there were also on board, of whom the other 
most important was a son of James Fitzmaurice, who died at sea lnshinen - 
and who was buried with a great ceremonial in Clew Bay. 
One or two other Desmond Geraldines are also mentioned. 
There were a few who belonged to good families of the Pale, the 
most important being Baltinglas's brother, Edmund Eustace. 

been unable to find it. An iron chest washed ashore near the Giant's 
Causeway is in Lord Antrim's possession. The Macnamara family formerly 
possessed cups, a watch, crosses, &c., out of the Armada, brought from the 
Arran Islands, but these I have been unable to trace ; guns have been re- 
covered, but not many, and the rudder of a ship was cut into gateposts 
near Westport I 




f. din Spain. 

Eustace was reported dead, but he got back to Spain. Cahil 
O'Connor, who killed Captain Mackworth, was another, and 
he also was afterwards alive in Spain. James Machary, a 
native of Tipperary, said he was impressed at Lisbon. On the 
whole it is clear that there was no thought at all of a descent 
on Ireland, though some Spaniards taken in Tralee Bay said 
that on board the Duke of Medina's ship was an Englishman 
called Don William, a man of a reasonable stature, bald, and 
very like Sir William Stanley. But Stanley had not left the 
Netherlands, and there were other Englishmen in the Spanish 
fleet. 1 

As late as February, 1589, Irish merchants spread flatter- 
ing reports in Spain. Alonso de Leyva was alive, they said, 
and held Athlone against the Lord Deputy with 2,000 men ; 
but an Irish bishop at Corunna said there were no Spaniards 
in Ireland, and the tellers of both tales were arrested until the 
truth should be known. Norris had recommended that Irish 
auxiliaries should be used in retaliating on the coast of Spain, 
and when he visited Corunna with Drake they lamented that 
the advice had not been taken. ' Had we had either horse on 
land, or some companies of Irish kerne to have pursued them, 
A tradition, there had none of them escaped.' There is a tradition in 
Munster, and the local historian fixes the date in 1589, that 
Drake was pursued by Spaniards into Cork harbour, that he 
took refuge among the woods in the secluded Carrigaline river, 
and that the foreigners sailed round the harbour and departed 
without being able to find him. It is not easy to say when 
this happened, but the place is called ' Drake's hole ' unto 
this day. 2 

The Scotch Government did what it could to get rid of 
the Spaniards peaceably, but some were not shipped off until 
July 1589, and even then a remnant was left. They hung 
about the Orkneys, taking stray English vessels and even 

1 For the poems see Duro, i. 237, and ii. 85 ; examination of Spaniards 
taken at Tralee, Sept. 9, 1588 ; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Oct. 27, with en- 
closures ; examination of James Machary, Dec. 29, &c. 

* Fitzwilliam to Burghley, March 14, 1589, with enclosures ; Drake 
and Norris to the Privy Council, May 7, printed in Barrow's Life of Dralte 
Smith's Cork, i. 216. 

The last 
of the 


committing some murders on Scottish soil. In the corre- CHAP. 

spondence to which they gave rise Bothwell's name is fre- > , '-,- 

quently mentioned, and they continued to give trouble for 
some years. The few who lingered in Ireland could do but 
little harm, and the years which followed Philip's great ^ 
enterprise were unusually quiet. 1 

1 Notices in the Calendar of S. P. Scotland, especially Oct. 28, 1588. 

o 2 




Ulster after 





WHEN the danger was over, it was not unnatural that 
Fitzwilliam should wish to chastise those who had favoured 
the invaders, or at least to reduce them to submission. 
His enemies said he only wanted to convert some of the 
Spanish treasure to his own use ; but it is clear that he got 
none of it, either for himself or for the Queen. On two 
miles of strand in Sligo ' there lay,' he says, ' more wrecked 
timber in my opinion (having small skill or judgment 
therein) than would have built five of the greatest ships that 
ever I saw, besides mighty great boats, cables, and other 
cordage answerable thereunto, and some such masts, for 
bigness and length, as in mine own judgment I never saw 
any two could make the like.' But there were no doubloons. 
The castles of Ballyshannon and Belleek were in possession 
of Tyrone's father-in-law, Sir John MacToole O'Gallagher, 
who had formerly enjoyed a good service pension of 100., 
of which he had been deprived by Perrott. He was now 
in close alliance with Ineen Duive, the mother of Hugh 
Roe O'Donnell, and it was dangerous to oppose her, for 
she murdered at this time another O'Gallagher whose 
independent bearing annoyed her. Neither O'Rourke nor 
any of the smaller chiefs who had befriended the Spaniards 
came to Fitzwilliam, and the cattle were driven off into 
Case of Sir the mountains. O'Donnell did come, and so did Sir John 
O'Gallagher and Sir John O'Dogherty. Fitzwilliam's 
enemies said O'Gallagher came under safe conduct, but 
the annalists do not allege this. The Deputy himself says 
he persuaded him to come by courteous entreaty, and that 
O'Dogherty came of his own accord. He treated them a? 



sureties for Perrott's tribute, of which 'not one beef had CHAP. 

been paid,' and carried them both prisoners to Dublin ; but , '-* 

the 2,100 cows remained in Donegal. Whether word was 
broken with these chiefs or not, Fitzwilliam's policy was 
certainly bad. How were O'Rourke and MacSwiney 
punished by imprisoning O'Gallagher or O'Dogherty ? 
There could be no result except to make Irishmen very shy 
of the Viceroy. O'Dogherty remained in Dublin Castle for 
a year or more, and the deputy Remembrancer of the 
Exchequer said he was only released then because certain 
hogsheads of salmon were sent to the Lord Chancellor's 
cellar. O'Gallagher remained six years in prison, Fitz- 
william saying he was too dangerous to liberate, and his 
critics maintaining that he only wanted to be bribed. The 
wretched chief, who was old and infirm, was released by Sir 
William Russell, but died soon after. 1 

Fitzwilliam, who went from Donegal to Strabane, made O'Don- 
Donnell O'Donnell sheriff. He was O'Donnell's eldest son polities. 
by an Irish wife or mistress, and it was supposed that he 
would do good service against the Scotch party, who thirsted 
for his blood. It was hoped that Tyrone would help to get the 
promised rent from Tyrconnell, but he contented himself 
with entertaining the army sumptuously at Dungannon, and 
he afterwards made the treatment of Sir John O'Gallagher 
one of his principal grievances. The redoubtable Ineen 
soon afterwards burned down her husband's house at 
Donegal, lest it should serve to shelter a garrison, and at 
the same time her son Hugh, who was a prisoner at Dublin 
Castle, was betrothed to the Earl's daughter. The Lord 
Deputy's journey to the North had no results of importance, 
but he could boast of not losing one man in seven weeks. 2 

1 Fitzwilliam to the Privy Council, Dec. 31, 1588 ; to Burghley, Aug. 
20, 1590; Robert Legge to Burghley, Feb. 17, 1590; Fowr Masters, 1588 ; 
Fynes Moryson, 1589 ; compare Captain Lee's account in Desiderata Curiusa 
Hibernica, i. 129. Sir John O'Gallagher is called Sir Owen O'Toole in 
some English accounts, but this is wrong and misleading ; the Christian 
name is Eoin not Eogan. Fynes Moryson was not in Ireland in 1588, and 
very probably copied Lee's story. 

* Fitzwilliam to the Privy Council, Dec. 31, 1588 ; Tyrone to Walking- 
ham, Feb. 5, 1589 ; Patrick Foxe to Walsingham, Feb. 12. 








to the 


In order to clear up some of the claims made upon the 
forfeited Desmond estates, it was thought wise to send over 
no less a person than Chief Justice Anderson. His law 
could not be gainsaid, and he was not likely to err on the 
side of leniency. The English lawyers joined in commission 
with him were Sir Robert Gardiner, Chief Justice of Ireland, 
Thomas Gent, Baron of the Exchequer in England, and 
Jesse Smythe, Chief Justice of Munster ; and upon these 
four fell the principal part of the work. Of eighty-two 
claims only one was allowed, a conveyance from Desmond 
being produced in that case, of a date prior to his first 
treasonable act. In the absence of such proof, the Queen 
was held to be seised in fee of all the Earl's estate. The 
materials exist for a detailed account of the Munster settle- 
ment, but they are more properly available for histories of 
Cork, Kerry, Limerick, and Waterford than for that of 
Ireland. One of the suitors aggrieved by the decision of 
the commissioners was Lord Roche, and his case is especially 
interesting because of its connection with Spenser. He 
made seven distinct claims, and on the first being dis- 
missed, because he had ' sinisterly seduced ' the witnesses, 
he refused to proceed with the others, and threatened to 
complain to the Queen, whereupon the commissioners sent 
him to gaol. The imprisonment was short, but he declared 
that one of the undertakers had shot an arrow at him, 
professed to be in fear of his life, and begged Ormonde to 
lend him some house on the Suir, where he might be safe for 
a time. In the meantime he managed to make the country 
very unsafe for some other people. 

Spenser had Kilcolman and 4,000 acres allotted to him, 
but he complained that the area was really much less. Less 
or more, he was not allowed to dwell in peace, and his chief 
enemy was Lord Roche, who accused him of intruding on his 
lands, and using violence to his tenants, servants, and cattle. 
The poet retorted that the peer entertained traitors, im- 
prisoned subjects, brought the law into contempt, and 
forbade all his people to have any dealings with Mr. Spenser 
and his tenants. An English settler named Keate asked 


Morris MacShane, one of Lord Roche's men, why he had no CHAP. 

fear of God ; and it was sworn that he answered, ' he feared > , ^ ) 

not God, for he had no cause; but he feared his Lord, who 
had punished him before and would have his goods.' Lord 
Roche was charged with many outrages, such as killing a 
bullock belonging to a smith who mended a settler's plough, 
seizing the cows of another for renting land from the owner 
of this plough, and killing a fat beast belonging to a third, 
' because Mr. Spenser lay in his house one night as he came 
from the sessions at Limerick.' Ultimately the poet's estate 
was surveyed as 3,028 acres at a rent of 81. 13s. 9d., which 
was doubled at Michaelmas 1594, making it about five 
farthings per acre. Spenser maintained himself at Kilcolman 
until 1598, when the undertakers were involved in general 
ruin. Troubles with Lord Roche continued to the end, and 
it may be doubted whether even the happy marriage which 
inspired his finest verses ever reconciled him to what he has 
himself described as 

My luckless lot 

That banished had myself, like wight forlore, 
Into that waste, where I was quite forgot. 

Raleigh, whose society was one of Spenser's few pleasures Raleigh. I 
in Munster, settled a very large number of English families 
upon his great estate in Cork and Waterford. Passing 
afterwards into Boyle's skilful hands, this settlement became 
of the greatest importance, but it was overrun like the rest 
in 1598. Ten years before the crash came, Raleigh could 
see that Thomas of Desmond and his son James were dangerous 
neighbours. Sir Richard Grenville and Fane Beecher had 
the whole barony of Kinalmeaky between them, and at the 
end of 1589 there were only six Englishmen there, upon land 
estimated at 24,000 acres. The hero of Flores had a very 
poor opinion of the prospect unless questions which proved 
insoluble could be speedily settled, and the English settlers 
found their position everywhere very disagreeable. Grenville 
and St. Leger planted a considerable number in the district 

immediately south of Cork, and Arthur Hvde did pretty well Fatal de " 
J j j f ectg ot - tlie 

on the Blackwater ; but, as a rule, the newcomers were greatly settle- 




The Clan- 
heiress ; 

married to 

outnumbered by the natives. Nor can it be doubted that 
many returned to England when they found that Munster 
was not Eldorado. Irish tenants were easily got to replace 
them, and even to pay rents to the undertakers until it was 
possible to cut their throats. When the day of trial came, 
the remaining settlers were easily disposed of; they cried, 
and there was none to help them. 1 

Among other devices for balancing the Desmond power 
in Munster, Elizabeth had made Donnell MacCarthy More 
Earl of Clancare, and Shane O'Neill had spoken very sarcas- 
tically of this attempt to turn a foolish chief into a ' wise 
earl.' His only legitimate son ran away to France, where 
he died, and all hereditary rights were then vested in his 
daughter Ellen, who became an important figure in the eyes 
of English and Irish fortune-hunters. It appears that 
Clancare sold his daughter to Sir Valentine Browne as a wife 
for his son Nicholas, Sir Thomas Norris having first given 
up the idea of wooing her. Sir Valentine was a mortgagee, 
for the earl had wasted his substance in riotous living, and 
in the hands of a family of undertakers and land-surveyors 
every claim of that sort would have its full value. In the 
eyes of the MacCarthies and of the heiress's mother, who 
was a Desmond, the proposed match was a disparagement, 
and early in 1589 a private marriage was celebrated between 
Lady Ellen and Florence MacCarthy, who had probably come 
from London on purpose. Sir Nicholas Browne afterwards 
married a daughter of O'Sullivan Bere. The heiress does not 
seem to have been much consulted, and a marriage which 
began so romantically was not in the end even moderately 
happy. In 1599 she distrusted her husband, who called her 
' foolish and froward,' and not long afterwards she was 
practically a spy upon his actions. 

1 Book of the proceeding of Commissioners for 'aryer' claims in Munster, 
Sept. 3, 1588, of which there is a copy or rather a version (Aug. 29- Sept. 14) 
at Hatfield, with many details. Most of the facts in this and the two pre- 
ceding paragraphs are from Mr. Hamilton's Calendar 1588-1592. See also 
No. 128, 1591, in Ca/rew. In 1597 Sir Nicholas Browne prophetically de- 
scribed the settlers as ' fowls fatted in mews, to be spoiled at the pleasure 
of the country people ' (MS. Cottun, privately printed by Mr. Hussey.) 


Florence was Tanist of Carbery, which had passed to his CHAP. 
uncle, and the result of his runaway match would be to unite < - , L* 
the territories of MacCarthy Reagh and MacCarthy More in Mac 
one hand. Now that the Desmonds were gone, a MacCarthy politics. 
on this scale would be the strongest man in Munster. To" 
break up these great estates was a fixed object with the 
English Government, and Florence was sent as prisoner to 
England, where he remained for several years. His wife 
escaped from Cork, hid for a long time among her people, 
and then joined her husband in London. The clans generally 
acknowledged him as MacCarthy More, but there was another Florence 
claimant in the person of Clancare's illegitimate son Donnell, 

who had many friends among the people, and who was pro- 
bably his father's favourite. A peaceable inhabitant was 
murdered by this spirited young man, whom he had ventured 
to reprove for his Irish extortions, and who supported him- 
self and his band of followers by promiscuous robbery. ' It 
is thought,' said St. Leger, ' that this detestable murder was 
committed by the Earl's consent, for that the party murdered 
would not relieve him with money, to bear out his drunken 
charges at Dublin.' Florence, on the contrary, was a scholar, 
and a man who, notwithstanding his gigantic stature, used his 
pen more readily than his sword. His accomplishments, and 
the very hard treatment he received, have made him interest- 
ing, but there was nothing heroic about him. He was an 
astute Irishman, and while English writers could rightly 
accuse him of treasonable practices, his rival Donnell, called 
him ' a damned counterfeit Englishman, whose only study 
and practice was to deceive and betray all the Irish in 
Ireland.' l 

In June 1589 Sir Ross MacMahon, chief of Monaghan, Fitzwfl-- 
died without heirs male. He held of the Queen by letters theTaiac- 
patent, and was regarded as MacMahon, and also as feudal Mahcms - 
grantee of the whole country, except the districts comprised 
in the modern barony of Farney, which had been granted to 

1 Everything about Florence MacCarthy may be read in his Life and 
Letters by Daniel MacCarthy, a book of much research, but unfortunately 
even more chaotic than the common run of family histories. 




Walter, Earl of Essex. He was liable to a rent of 400 beeves 
and to certain services. His brother Hugh Roe at once 
claimed his inheritance. Fitzwilliam's great object was to 
break up these principal chiefries into moderate estates, and 
he thought this a good opportunity. Brian MacHugh Oge 
also claimed to be MacMahon, but upon purely Celtic grounds, 
and very much upon the strength of 500 or 600 armed men 
whom he found means to pay. Fitzwilliam persuaded Hugh 
Roe that he had not much chance of success, and brought 
him to agree to a division, but his kinsmen refused, since 
each gentleman of the name claimed to be the MacMahon 
himself. Fitzwilliam then acknowledged Hugh Roe as chief, 
and sent him 400 foot and 40 horse. Brian MacHugh was 
in possession of Leek Hill and of the stone upon which Mac- 
Mahons were inaugurated, and was supported by Tyrone and 
by Hugh Maguire, who had just become chief of Fermanagh 
upon the death of his father Cuconnaught. On the approach 
of the Queen's troops he fled into O'Rourke's country, and 
left Hugh Roe in possession. Returning a few days later with 
help from O'Rourke or Maguire, he drove his rival from Clones, 
and killed a few soldiers, but without coming into collision 
with the main body. Hugh Roe did, however, maintain himself, 
but soon showed that he had no intention of abandoning 
native customs. He rescued prisoners from the sheriff of 
Monaghan, drove cattle in Farney, burned houses, and 
behaved himself generally like a spirited Irish chieftain. 
These offences legally involved a forfeiture of his patent, and 
Fitzwilliam found means to arrest him. Tyrone looked upon 
the cattle-stealing merely as ' distraining for his right accord- 
ing to custom,' but Fitzwilliam saw another chance of effect- 
ing the much desired partition. The Queen was inclined 
to think that MacMahon had committed nothing more than 
' such march offences as are ever ordinarily committed in that 
realm,' that great caution should be used in punishing a man 
who undoubtedly depended on the Crown, and that Brian Mac- 
Hugh in particular was not to be preferred. In the end 
Hugh Roe was tried and executed at Monaghan. In 1591 the 
country, with the exception of Famey, was divided between 


six MacMahons and MacKenna, the chief of Trough. The rent CHAP. 


reserved to the Queen was 7s. 6d. for every sixty acres. An , '-* 

ample demesne was assigned to each, and those holding land 
under them, at a rent of 12s. 6d. for every sixty acres, were 
called freeholders. A senechal was appointed to represent 
the Crown. Brian MacHugh was established in Dartrey, and 
Ever MacCoolie in Cremorne. The church-lands, and only 
the church-lands, were leased to private speculators, but the 
settlement was not destined to remain unquestioned. 

Fitzwilliam has been accused of acting corruptly in this Charge of 


matter ; but such charges were matters of course, and his 
own strong denial ought to prevail, since there is no evidence 
against him. ' I did it,' he said, ' to the profit of her Majesty 
and good of this State, nothing regarding mine own private ; 
I speak it in the presence of God, by whom I hope to be 
saved .... if ever there were such a motion or meaning 
for me, or for any of mine, let God wipe us all out of his 
book.' J 

Bingham had treated the Spaniards very severely, as well Bingham 
as those who harboured them. The consequence of allowing naught. 
them to draw together on Irish soil would have been serious, 
and in Walsingham's eyes at least he had done no more than 
his duty. But the chiefs who already hated him now hated 
him worse than ever, and when the danger was over plenty 
of Englishmen were ready to censure his proceedings. Among 
them was Thomas Jones, Bishop of Meath, and afterwards ? n , es , / 

Bishop of j 

Archbishop of Dublin, a Lancashire man, who had been Meath, 
admitted to the Council at the same time as Bingham, in 
accordance with the Queen's instructions to Sir John Perrott, 
and who had afterwards been sharply rebuked by her for 
proposing severe measures against recusants, and for openly 
and without notice blaming that Deputy's remissness in the 
matter. He now gave out that Ustian MacDonnell, a noted 
leader of gallowglasses, had been unadvisedly executed by 

1 The documents are collected in Shirley's History of Monac/Jian , pp. 
80-91. The notes in O'Donovan's Four Masters are very incorrect in this 
case, though they have often been copied. Essex was much pressed to 
surrender his patent for Farney, but steadily refused. 




Murder of 

Browne in 

the Governor of Connaught. Bingham replied that the 
court-martial was quite regular, and the sentence just. He 
had, he said, ' never a foot of land in the world as his own, 
nor yet anything else, and had always been the worst man in 
all these parts of his time.' The chief charge against him 
was that of combining with the Devil's Hook's son and other 
Burkes to receive Alonso de Leyva when he was driven upon 
the Erris shore, and for preventing the country people from 
supplying the troops, while they readily gave their cattle 
to the Spaniards. The Bishop of Meath, with John Garvey, 
Bishop of Kilmore, a Kilkenny man, who was immediately 
afterwards translated to Armagh, the veteran Sir Nicholas 
White, Sir Kobert Dillon, Chief Justice of the Common 
Pleas, and Sir Thomas Lestrange, were appointed com- 
missioners for the pacification of Connaught. They may 
have let their hostility to Bingham be known, or as was so 
often the case their mere presence seemed to show that he 
was distrusted. The result was not satisfactory, for they 
found the Mayo Burkes in open rebellion, and they left them 
in no better case. White thought these people desired peace, 
and that it was prevented by a revengeful disposition in some 
of his colleagues to lay all the blame on Bingham. 1 

John Browne, the founder of a great Connaught family, 
had been in the service of Sir Christopher Hatton, and was 
attached politically to Walsingham. He arrived in Ireland 
in 1583, and Sir Nicholas Maltby appears to have been his 
first patron there. His original project, in which he was 
associated with Robert Fowle and others, was to rebuild and 
people the deserted town of Athenry ; but this proved im- 
practicable, and at a hint from Walsingham, the adventurers 
took all Connaught for their province. Browne established 
himself at the Neale, near Ballinrobe, and prided himself on 
being the first Englishman who had settled in Mayo. When 
Bingham came into Maltby's room, he recognised a congenial 
spirit, and in 1586 Browne was employed by him with much 
effect against the Burkes and Joyces. In 1589 he received 

1 Sir N. White to Burghley, April 7 and May P, 1589 ; report by Bing- 
ham, April 10, and his answer to charges in November (No. 3'J). 


a commission to harry the Burkes and all their maintainers CHAP. 


with fire and sword, and a few days afterwards they killed , '-> 
him. Daniel Daly, sub-sheriff of Mayo, who was also 
employed by Bingham, was murdered at the same time. 1 

The reason or pretext given for their rebellion by the 
chiefs of Western Connaught was that Bingham 's tyranny ^^ am 
was intolerable. They declared that they had paid for pro- Mayo 
tections which proved no protection, and for pardons which 
were not regarded, and that they never would be quiet until 
there was a radical change. It is always very hard to decide 
whether complaints such as these were really genuine and 
well-founded, or whether the mischief was mainly caused by 
the jealousy of chiefs who saw their authority disregarded, 
and their power of levying endless exactions curtailed. They 
spoke of liberty, but most Englishmen considered that they 
only wanted licence to oppress. Their power to give trouble 
was at least not doubtful. William Burke, called the Blind 
Abbot, was chief of the Lower Burkes, and aspired to be 
MacWilliam lochtar. Another leader was Richard Mac- 
Eickard, called the Devil's Hook, or the Demon of the 
Eeaping-hook. 400 of the Clandonnel gallowglasses joined 
the Burkes. Sir Morrogh ne Doe O'Flaherty dismantled his 
castles in Gal way, ferried 600 men over Lough Corrib, and 
entered Mayo in company with his neighbours, the Joyces. 
The outbreak had been a long time hatching, and was violent 
in proportion. Sixteen villages were burned, and 3,000 cattle A rebel- 
driven away. All who were not with the insurgents were 
held to be against them, and peaceable husbandmen had a 
bad time of it. One housewife was called upon to feed 100 
men, and particularly observed that they gave her no thanks. 
In another poor dwelling six barrels of ale were drunk or 
spoiled, and the owner was threatened with personal violence. 

1 Among many papers concerning Browne, see his letter to Walsingham, 
June 10, 1585 ; Bingham to Perrott, July 30, 1586 ; Patrick Foxe to 
Walsingham, Feb. 26, 1589. The murder took place between the last date 
and Jan. 13, when Bingham's commission to Browne was signed. For 
Walsingham's views see Morrin's Patent liolls 26 Eliz. (No. 39). The Four 
Masters make out that Browne and Daly were killed in battle, but this was 
clearly not the case. 




Royal Com- 
mission in 

It was Lent, but a Spanish priest who was with O'Flaherty, 
gave them all absolution for eating flesh, and there was much 
feasting at other people's expense. Sir Morrogh was fond of 
money, and a promise of 500Z. was supposed to have recon- 
ciled him to the probable execution of his son, who was a 
hostage for his good behaviour. On the whole, the number 
of men in rebellion was thought not to fall short of 200, and 
they had some pieces of ordnance and stores taken from three 
ships of the Armada. There were about twenty Spaniards 
with them, who did not at all relish the conditions of Irish 
warfare. 1 

Bishop Jones and his fellow-commissioners came to Athlone 
on April 11, about three months after the murder of Browne. 
The O'Flaherties had in the meantime been very thoroughly 
beaten by Lieutenant Francis Bingham and other officers, 
assisted by Gerald Comerford, the martial attorney-general for 
Connaught. They lost something like 200 men, while only one 
soldier fell. Bishop Garvey was sent first into Mayo, while 
Jones and his other colleagues went straight to Galway. Sir 
Murrogh refused to come into the town without a protection, 
and this the mayor refused to grant in opposition to Comerford, 
lest Bingham should take him nevertheless, and so destroy 
the credit of the corporation. Sir Richard was at little pains 
to hide his dislike of the whole inquiry. The Bishop of Meath 
laid down the principle and with this at least it is impossible 
not to agree that loyal men should keep their words, no 
matter how much rebels broke theirs. ' What ! ' said Bing- 
ham, ' would you have us keep our words with those which 
have no conscience, but break their word daily ? I am not 
of that opinion.' Chief Justice Dillon's reading of his com- 
mission was that he was to make peace ; Sir Richard com- 
manded the troops, and might fight if he pleased. Bingham 
said he would hold his hand until the commissioners had 
done their best, or worst, and he let them see that he had 
no belief in their doings. The Bishop of Kilmore succeeded 
in bringing the leaders of the Burkes to Galway ; and the 

1 Bingham to Burghley, April 6, 1589 ; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, April 9, 
with fourteen enclosures. 


Blind Abbot, as soon as he came within sight, held out the CHAP. 

commission which had been found on Browne's person at the - , '-* 
time of his murder, and declared he would send it to the 
Queen. The knowledge that this document existed, said an- 
other Burke, was the real cause of the crime. l 

Bingham was at Galway during the visit of the commis- Bingham 

, . , i i -i -1111 * strong- 

sioners, though he did not conceal his disgust, and he had a for the 
considerable force with him. He declared that soldiers were 

necessary for the safety of the commissioners, and perhaps 
they were ; but their presence brought danger of another 
sort. In the town the governor had many enemies and the 
rebels many friends, and brawls took place between them and 
some of Bingham's men, who were probably indignant at the 
treatment of a chief whom they trusted, and who habitually 
led them to victory. ' Nay, sirs,' said Sir Richard to two of 
the Burkes who were stating their grievances, ' would you 
not be clean rid of a sheriff, or would you not have a 
Mac William established among you ? ' The commissioners 
professed themselves unable to detect any such intention, 
but the event showed that Bingham was right. Sir Morrogh 
O'Flaherty and the Blind Abbot refused altogether to come 
into Bingham's presence, and the commissioners agreed to 
meet them outside the town. The trysting-place was an 
abbey beyond the river, probably the dissolved friary of the 
Dominicans, and Bingham blamed the commissioners for 
trusting themselves in a place where violence was easy, while 
some of his followers illustrated this opinion in a very curious 
way. Two men, dressed like nuns, or at least like women who be- 

with ' mantles and caps,' and a third in a black gown, which " ' 
may have been intended to represent the garb of St. Dominic, 
passed through the church while the commissioners were in 
the choir. ' Let us go and tarry no longer,' said Jones, ' for 
I see they do begin to mock us already,' and accordingly 
they regained their boat and went back to the town. The 
masqueraders, who were joined by others, took their place in 
the choir and went through the farce of a parley. Afterwards 

1 Report of the Commissioners in Fitzwilliam's letter to Burghley 
May 14, 1589. 


CHAP, they paraded the streets, ' I am the Bishop of Meath,' said 

' , L- one. Another said, ' I am the J ustice Dillon ; reverence for the 

Queen's Commissioners,' and so on. In the end, after several 
abortive discussions, Jones and his colleagues left Galway 
without concluding peace. It is evident that Bingham's dis- 
contented subjects distrusted each other quite as much as they 
did him. Sir Morrogh O'Flaherty was ready to make separate 
terms for himself, and the Burkes feared to promise anything, 
lest others should take advantage of them. Bingham's hands 
were untied, and he proceeded to restore order in his own 
way. 1 

O'Connor Sir Donnell O'Connor of Sligo had surrended his possessions 

to the Queen and taken out a fresh grant with remainder to 
the heirs male of his father. The castle and Dominican friary 
were originally founded by the Kildare family, and the 
O'Connors were technically their constables ; but attainders 
intervened, and the claim was too antiquated to weigh much 
with Elizabethan statesmen. Sir Donnell died about the 
beginning of 1588, and his nephew Donough claimed to suc- 
ceed him. According to Bingham, both Donough and his 
father Cahil Oge were illegitimate, and he was anxious to 
have the castle of Sligo in safe hands, because it commanded 
the passage from Ulster into Connaught. Donough, who was 
attached to Leicester, declared that the governor's real object 
was to get all for his brother George ; but Bingham's proposal 
was that the barony of Carbury, on account of its strategic 
importance, should be retained for the Queen, and that all 
O'Connor Sligo's lands in the neighbouring districts should 
be regranted to Donough. A commission, consisting of the 
Bishop of Meath, Sir Eobert Dillon, and others, was appointed 
by Perrott to inquire into the matter, and they decided in favour 
of Donough. Bingham declared that they were quite wrong, 
and that he gave up Sligo under compulsion, for fear of dis- 
obeying the Lord Deputy, and in plain defiance of the Queen's 
real interest. After Perrott's departure from Ireland a 

1 Bishop of Kilmore to Burghley, May 10, 1589 ; Bishop of Meath to 
same, May 13 ; Fitzwilliam to same, May 14, with enclosures ; Bingham to 
Walsingham, May 23. 


further inquiry into Donough's title was made, the commis- CHAP. 

sioners being Bingham himself, with Chief Justice Sir Kobert , '-* 

Gardiner and Mr. Justice Walshe. The jurors were sub- 
stantial men, but it was alleged that Bingham had taken one 
of them by the beard, and threatened to punish him as a traitor 
if he persisted in finding Donough legitimate. After five Bingham 
days a verdict was obtained for the Crown, and the Chief 8 

Justice particularly stated that the trial was impartial, that 
all O'Connor's challenges were allowed, and that Bingham did 
not use a harsh word to any witness or juror. Sligo remained 
in safe hands during the time the Armada was on the coast. 
Walsingham wrote a stinging rebuke to Bishop Jones for his 
corrupt conduct in the matter, and for his malice to Bingham. 
' It was told me at what time you were in England that I 
should in the end find you a hypocrite. And what better 
reckoning can I make of you . . . this practice of yours, 
though not by Sir Richard Bingham, is sufficiently discovered 
already from Ireland, and the gentleman I doubt not will 
stand upright there, in despite of all your malice.' Others 
accused Jones of acting entirely under Dillon's guidance, and 
the latter of receiving bribes. William Nugent, the ex-rebel 
of the Pale, said that he received 100 cows for making a false 
record. 1 

Bishop Jones was profuse in apologies both to Walsingham 
and Burghley ; and, though Swift calls him a rascal, there is 
no proof that he acted corruptly in the matter, while it might liam ' 
not be safe to say as much of Sir Robert Dillon. On June 10, 
Fitzwilliam himself arrived at Galway, whence Bingham de- 
parted at his urgent request, and on the following day the 
Blind Abbot and Sir Murrogh ne Doe O'Flaherty made their 
submissions openly in the church of St. Nicholas, and re- 
mained on their knees for nearly three-quarters of an hour. 
The Lord Deputy received a statement of their grievances in 

1 Bingham to Burghley, Feb. 24, May 15 and 28, Aug. 26, 1588 ; Perrott 
to Walsingham, March 18, 1588 ; Gardiner, 0. J., to Walsingham, Jan. 31, 
1589 ; case of O'Connor Sligo, Feb. (No. 53) ; Walsingham to the Bishop 
of Meath, June 24 ; Kildarc to Nottingham, May 31, 1590 ; and a paper 
dated Feb. 21, 1592 ; William Nugent's Articles, Aug. 14, 1591. 





The attack 
on Bing- 
liain fails. 

writing, and lost no time in advising Burghley that he thought 
they would never trust their lives under Bingham's govern- 
ment. A few days later, Sir Richard told Walsingham that 
Fitzwilliam only impoverished Connaught by the cost of his 
train, that he had done nothing in three weeks, and that the 
province was a prey to rebels whom he, the governor, was 
forbidden to chastise. Hostages had been given, Archbishop 
Garvey's eldest son among them, for the chiefs lately received 
on submission ' a couple of doating old fools,' who were amply 
protected by the garrison. O'Rourke was the real head of the 
rebellion, and he was shielded by the spite of Jones and the 
corruption of Dillon. The Queen's representatives, he added, 
had, in fact, sued for peace, and it was not worth having, for 
the other parties were beggars and wretches. The terms were 
that the chiefs should disperse their forces and go home, that 
they should surrender any foreigners among them, that they 
should make such reparation for their rebellion as the Lord 
Deputy should appoint, and that they should pay for all the 
harm they had done since the first appointment of the Com- 
missioners. 1 

Fitzwilliam refused to let Bingham confront his accusers 
at Gal way, lest the terror of his presence should silence them. 
The result was that their uncontradicted statements were sent 
over to England, and Walsingham's wrath was hot within 
him. The unfairness of the procedure was evident, the reason 
for it much less so. ' It may fall out, my Lord Deputy, to be 
your own case, for it is no new thing in that realm to have 
deputies accused.' Considering Walsingham's evident pre- 
judice against him, Fitzwilliam suggested that the Queen 
should give him a successor. The trial of the case was re- 
moved to Dublin; and the Lord Deputy foretold that no 
Connaught chief would go there to accuse Bingham. If fear 
did not prevent such a journey, poverty would. And so it 
turned out. Much was proved against inferior officers, and 
there can be no doubt that the Governor of Connaught was 

1 Fitzwilliam to Burghley, July 19, 1589 ; Bingham to Walsingham, July 
24 and Sept. 4; the Articles are printed from a Cotton MS. in O'Flaherty's 
Western Coniiaitght, p. 396. 


apt to shield useful underlings under almost any circum- CHAP. 

stances. That he was guilty of extreme severity, and that he , ' 

executed children who were retained as hostages, is probably 
true. But he managed the province well, and got a large 
revenue out of it. And it is certain that he had friends 
among the Irish as well as enemies. Among these was 
Roger O'Flaherty, grandfather of the author of Ogygia. This The 
Roger owned the castle and lands of Moycullen, and had hcrties. 
long complained of Sir Murrogh's usurpations. It seems 
that he was satisfied, for he wrote strongly in the Governor's 
favour, who also befriended him with the English Govern- 
ment. Sir Murrogh was an enterprising man, and never 
made the impossible attempt to prove his title to land, 
' Why, man,' he told his own counsel, ' I got it by the sword ; 
what title should I say else ? ' Bingham was an absolute 
ruler. Opposition he checked ruthlessly, and he cared little 
for constitutional forms. He took no pains to conciliate any- 
one, and was of course accused of provoking men to rebel. 
Nor did he care to disguise his opinion that many of the 
Irish ought to be rooted out. Perhaps the worst charge 
against him is that made by Fitzwilliam, who called him an 
atheist, ' for that he careth not what he doeth, nor to say any- 
thing how untrue soever, so it may serve his turn.' l 

Fitzwilliam and Jones acknowledged that William Burke, Bingham 
the Blind Abbot, was a fool, and on the whole the person 
who suffered most from the inquiry into Bingham's conduct 
was the Bishop of Meath. Sir Richard said his lordship 
blamed intemperate language, while he himself exclaimed at 
cards, ' God's wounds ! play the ten of hearts.' He was 
so busy preparing a case against him that he found no time to 
preach once during the three weeks that he spent at Galway, 

1 Walsingham to Fitzwilliam, July 8, 1589 ; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, 
Aug. 9, Sept. 2, Oct. 6, and Dec. 19 ; Summary of rebellion by John 
Merbury, Aug. 1. Fitzwilliam calls Bingham ' atheist,' but Bishop Jones 
(to Burghley, May 13) said he was ' a gentleman of great value, and one 
that feareth God.' The Bishop sums up the causes of his great unpopu- 
larity under four heads : 1. Hanging gentlemen by martial law. 2. 
Commissions to prosecute protected persons by fire and sword. 3. Dis- 
possessing men from their land by ' provincial orders ' without legal trial. 
4. Oppression by the soldiers. 

P 2 




Sir Brian 

though he would go to church in the morning to hear an 
exercise and again in the afternoon to hear a play. He was 
superseded in the Connaught commission, and Walsingham 
rebuked him for not attending to his own proper duties. 
The Bishop's apology was almost abject, and he promised 
to give up temporal business. He had, he said, not 
neglected his own diocese, though thinking it unnecessary 
to preach in Dublin more than once a term. Fitzwilliam 
defended him, and he was employed again during Walsing- 
ham's life, but not in business connected with Connaught. 
Lofbus, whose wife's sister he had married, considered him as 
one of his own family, and urged that the Papists had taken 
great advantage of the Bishop's disgrace. 1 

The composition in Connaught had been favourable to 
the power of Sir Brian O'Rourke, the chief of Leitrim. 
Nominally, his jurisdiction over the people of his country 
was restrained ; but so large a share of land was given to 
him absolutely that he found himself stronger than ever, 
and refused to acknowledge the Governor of Connaught, 
maintaining that he was under no man except the Lord 
Deputy himself. In the original scheme for shireing 
Leitrim made in 1583 a considerable part of Fermanagh was 
included, but the arrangement did not hold for the purposes 
of the composition agreed upon two years later. O'Rourke's 
country, as then defined, is contained within the modern 
county of Leitrim. Its contents were roughly estimated 
at some 75,000 acres. Of this nominal area more than 8,000 
acres were allowed to O'Rourke in demesne. Out of about 
50,000 more he was permitted to receive a rent of 300. 
a year, and the rest he was to hold by three knights' fees. 
The smaller freeholders were required to pay ten shillings a 
year out of each quarter of 120 acres, and to supply eight 
horsemen and forty footmen on general hostings. Old 
MacMurry, one of these subordinate chiefs, wept with joy 

1 Bingham to Walsingham, June 24, 1589 ; Bingham's answer to 
charges, Nov. ; Sir N. White to Burghley, Dec. 5 ; Bishop Jones to Burgh- 
ley, Dec. 6, and to Walsingham, Dec. 8 ; Loftus to Walsingham, Dec. 8 ; 
Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Dec. 13. 


and blessed the good Queen. ' We have,' he said, ' hereto- CHAP. 


fore paid O'Rourke better than ten marks, or a quarter ; , ^ 

and shall we indeed escape now for a trifle of twenty 
shillings ! ' But O'Rourke refused to pay his rent to 
Bingham, and was friendly to the intruding Scots. After 
their overthrow at Ardnaree it was no longer possible to 
despise the Governor, but O'Rourke persuaded Perrott to 
remit part of what he owed, and it was not until after that 
Deputy's departure that Bingham found himself really 
master. When the Spaniards came, Sir Brian did what he 
could to help them, and his rent was soon again in arrear. 
The King of Spain sent a friar with letters of thanks for his 
services to the Armada, and early in 1589 he was reported 
to be in open rebellion, and to be acting under the secret 
advice of Tyrone. His sons and brothers, with more than 
400 men, swept the northern part of Sligo to the Moy, and 
drove off 3,000 cows and 1,000 mares. O'Rourke kept so 
many armed men among the bogs and hills of Leitrim that 
it was said he could not feed them without spoiling a 
neighbouring county. 1 

O'Rourke had struggled hard to prevent a sheriff from O'Rourke 

. defies the 

being established in his country, and it was natural that he Queen 
should wish to retain his autonomy. But his unwillingness 
to obey any authority lay much deeper than any mere 
dislike to Sir Richard Bingham. About a month after the 
slaughter of the Scots at Ardnaree in 1586 the Serjeant- 
at-arms for Connaught saw a wooden figure of a woman set 
on wheels near MacClancy's house on Lough Melvin. The 
bystanders told him it was meant for a hag who lived 
over the water, and who had denied a carpenter milk. 
This seems to have been the same effigy as that on which 
O'Rourke caused the words ' Queen Elizabeth ' to be written, 
and upon which he showered abuse, while the gallowglasses 

1 The composition with O'Rourke, and much else concerning Leitrim, 
may be read in Hardiman's notes to O'Flaherty's Western Connaiifjht, pp. 
346-352 ; Bingham's Discourse, July 1587 ; Bingham to Burghley, May' 15 
and 28, 1588 ; John Crofton and others to Bingham, Oct. 19, 1588 ; Bingham 
to Fitzwilliam, March 6, 1589; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, with enclosures, 
April 30 ; John Merbury to Burghley, Sept. 27, 1589. 




liam gives 
his way. 

hacked it with their axes. A halter was placed round the 
neck of the mutilated figure, and it was then dragged 
through the dirt by horses. This was an incident in the 
Christmas festivities which Sir Brian kept ' according the 
Romish and Popish computation ' that is the Gregorian 
calendar and he took the opportunity of announcing that 
her Majesty was ' the mother and nurse of all heresies and 
heretics.' Binghain did not hear of the matter until after 
his return from the Low Countries ; but it was reported to 
Perrott, and his refusal to order O'Rourke's arrest was 
brought against him at his trial. 1 

Sir Brian O'Rourke was lawfully married to Lady Mary 
Burke, and her only son Teig had a grant of the family estates 
in the next reign. But he had an elder son by the wife of 
John O'Crean, a merchant of Sligo, and it was to him that 
the chiefry was likely to fall. The work of chastising O'Rourke 
was entrusted by Binghain to Clanricarde, and it seems to 
have been a labour of love, either because the Earl resented 
wrongs done to his sister, or because he hated her former 
misdeeds, or because he felt that his nephew's case had some 
resemblance to what his own had been. With thirty horse- 
men and some kerne of his own, and two regular companies, 
he set out from Elphin and marched to Ballinafad, where 
news came that O'Rourke was at his house near Lough Gill. 
Clanricarde asked Captain Mordaunt if his soldiers could go 
another fourteen miles the same night, and was told that they 
would do their best. The daylight overtook them at some 
distance from O'Rourke's house, and they had to fight after 
their long night's march. The O'Rourkes fell back into a 
bog, and Clanricarde insisted on following them with his 
horse. He was dismounted, and a spur torn from his heel. 
The bullets flew thickly about him, and Mordaunt 's men came 
up only just in time, his gallantry exciting the admiration of 
the English officers. O'Rourke was never able to make head 
again, but he probably fancied himself safe in his own country. 

1 Bingham to Burghley, April 6, 1589 ; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, April 9, 
1589, and Oct. 31, 1591 ; John Ball's declaration, April 1590 (No. 96) ; 
John Binghain to Burghley, Aug. 8, 1591. 


When the Lord Deputy held sessions at Sligo a few months CHAP. 

later, he refused to attend, on the ground that the Binghams , 

had something to do with them. The result was that Fitz- 
william accepted Bingham's policy as against O'Rourke, 
though he was always ready, and often with very good reason, 
to testify against the Governor's harshness and against the 
tyranny of his brothers, cousins, and followers. 1 

While it was still uncertain whether Bingham or his Binphnm 

. . subdues the 

enemies would get the upper hand, the Burkes continued in Burkes, 
rebellion. They went about in bands of 500 or 600, openly 
celebrated the Mass, and robbed all who were not with them. 
The Blind Abbot was made MacWilliam, with all the ancient 
ceremonies, and in virtue of his office he proceeded to assault 
and capture a castle garrisoned by Attorney-General Comer- 
ford's men. When Bingham had gained his cause in Dublin, 
it became evident that his policy must prevail ; and a letter 
from the Queen herself, whom the creation of a MacWilliam 
touched in her tender est point, probably decided Fitzwilliam's 
course. He made arrangements to have a strong force at 
Galway, and went there himself, to make a last effort for 
peace. Sir Murrogh ne Doe came in, but failed to find accept- 
able pledges, and was lodged in gaol. The Burkes did not 
appear, and some thought their contumacy was caused by the 
wording of the proclamation, which gave safe conduct to come, 
but not to return. It may be remembered that no less a 
personage than Shane O'Neill had been detained in virtue of 
a quibble of this kind. At all events the time of grace was 
allowed to pass, and Bingham went to work in earnest. With 
about 1,000 men, of whom more than three-quarters were 
regular soldiers, he swept Tyrawley from end to end. Only 
once, in a defile of the Nephin range, did the rebels make a 
stand, and they burned their own villages without waiting to 
be attacked. The poor MacWilliam had cause to rue his 
blushing honours, for he had a foot cut off by one of Thomond's 
soldiers, with a single blow of his sword. That Earl marched 

1 Captain Nicholas Mordaunt to Fitzwilliam, May 11, 1589 ; Fitzwilliam 
to Burghley, Oct. 6 ; Account of O'liourke's country by Fcntoii and Burgh- 
Icy, Feb. 1592 (No. 43). 


on foot through the mountains, and Clanricarde was also very 
active. The wounded chief lay for several days, without meat 
or drink, in an island in Lough Conn, and was afterwards 
drawn on a hurdle from place to place, to seek the alms of his 
clansmen. ' It is not,' said Bingham, ' a halfpenny matter 
what becomes of him now.' The Burkes all submitted, on Sir 
Richard's own terms, and peace was concluded with them. 1 
O'Rourke O'Rourke's turn had now come. He may have supposed 

is expelled, . ^ . . 

that his country was unassailable, but was quickly undeceived. 

Bingham had no doubt about being able to subdue him in 
ten days, but refused to move without written orders from 
the Lord Deputy, lest he might be disavowed afterwards. 
The order was given, and the Governor, who was suffering 
from dysentery, sent four divisions of soldiers into Leitrim 
under his brother George and Sir Henry Duke. Some mal- 
content O'Rourkes helped the English, and much damage 
was done. The mere presence of so large a force was enough 
to exhaust the district, and the subordinate chiefs were glad 
to make their peace, and perhaps glad to free themselves 
from O'Rourke, who fled to the MacSwineys in Donegal. 
Cuellar's friend MacClancy was hunted down, and killed as 
he tried to swim to one of his islands. He had still fourteen 
Spaniards with him, and some of these were taken alive. 
O'Rourke remained during the rest of the year in Donegal, and 
surren- then escaped to Scotland, but James gave him up to the English 
James Vl., Government. In thanking her dear brother for this, Elizabeth 
wondered how his ' subjects of Glasgow should doubt the stop 
of their traffic for so poor a caitiff, who was never of ability 
to make or give traffic.' In London O'Rourke justified 
Sidney's assertion as to his being the proudest man he had 
everMealt with, for he demanded that the Queen herself should 
judge him. His refusal to surrender Spaniards after the 
proclamation was treason, and he was told the indictment 
was sufficient if he refused to plead. ' If it must be so,' he 

1 Theobald Dillon to Burghley, Oct. 18, 1589 ; Edward Whyte to Sir 
N. White, Oct. 20 ; the Queen to Fitzwilliam, Nov. 19 ; Fitzwilliam to 
Burghley, Dec. 19; to the Privy Council, Jan. 27 and March 2 and 24, 
1590, with enclosures ; Bingham to Burghley, April 7. 


said, ' let it be so,' and he was accordingly condemned and CHAP. 

hanged at Tyburn, with all the usual barbarities. He was > , ^ 

attended on the scaffold by Miler Magrath, but refused his hanged, 
ministrations and upbraided the old Franciscan as an 
apostate. He had previously refused to bend the knee 
before the Council. ' I have always thought,' he said, ' that 
a great distance separated you from God and the Saints, 
whose images alone I am accustomed to venerate.' l 

Experience had shown the many evils of an ill-paid Mutiny in 
soldiery, but efforts at reform were not always wisely directed. 
New-comers and raw levies were sometimes better treated 
than the old garrison. Those whose services were yet to 
come got all the available money, while veterans, ' who passed 
all the soldiers in Europe in the travel and hard diet they 
had endured,' had to put up with scanty and irregular pay- 
ments on account. Old soldiers saw their boys receive a 
shilling a day in punctual weekly payments while their own 
seven pence was often in arrear. In May 1590, in the absence 
of their commander and without the knowledge of their 
officers, Sir Thomas Norris's company of foot suddenly left 
Limerick, and appeared in Dublin with drums and fifes 
playing. At eight in the morning they assembled on the 
bridge at the Castle gate, and clamoured for their pay and 
allowances, many months in arrear. Fitzwilliam, whose 
passage was obstructed by them, at first thought of a whiff 
of grape-shot, but changed his mind, and sallied forth among 
the mutineers. Sir George Carew bore the sword before 
him. ' Rather than let it go,' said Archbishop Loftus, ' your 
lordship may be sure he will do as the Mayor of London did.' 

1 Fitzwilliam to Burghley, March 24, 1590, with enclosures ; Bingham to 
Burghley, April 23; Camden. Bruce's betters of Elizabeth and James VI., 
April 1591. The charges against O'Ronrke are detailed in the Egtrton 
Papers ; O'Sullivan Bere, torn. iii. lib. ii. cap. 1 ; Four Masters, 1590 and 
1591. It is stated in O'Donovan's notes to the Annals, and in many other 
places, that O'Rourke begged to be hanged with a withe, and Bacon's 
essays are given as an authority ; but this is not what Bacon says. His 
words (No. 39, ' Of Custom and Education ') are : ' I remember in the be- 
ginning of Queen Elizabeth's time of England, an Irish rebel condemned 
put up a petition to the Deputy that he might be hanged in a withe and 
not in a halter, because it had been so used with former rebels.' 



CHAP. The services of a Walworth were not required, and, indeed, 
- , '-* the poor soldiers seem to have had no evil intentions. They 
besought Fitzwilliam to be good to them, and only one man 
used some offensive expression. The Lord Deputy turned 
his horse upon him, calling him baggage and mutinous knave, 
and drew his blade when the man held up his piece in 
self-defence. Gentlemen and servants streamed out of the 
Castle and drew their swords, and Fitzwilliam cried out, 
' Disarm these villains ! ' They made no resistance, but fell 
upon their knees, and sixty-one out of seventy-seven were 
imprisoned. Many of the arms were stolen in the confusion, 
Fitzwilliam soon pardoned the mutineers, and sent them back 
to Munster. ' The choler,' says Carew, ' that his lordship was 
r in was very exceeding abundant, yet so tempered that any 
man might discern that his valour did appear unspotted 
either with fear or cruelty, for he thrust himself into the 
midst of them all without respect of his person, and struck 
many with the flat of his rapier, yet hurt none saving one of 
them a little in the head, and holding the point of it at 
sundry of their breasts, forebore to thrust any of them into 
the body.' l 

The part of Tyrone lying north and west of the Mullagh- 
carne mountains had been retained by Tirlogh Luineach in 
1585, when he agreed to take 1,000 marks a year for the 
rest. The lease was for seven years, but O'Neill had reserved 
and wished to exercise the power of taking back the territory 
in three, which expired at Michaelmas 1588. Fitzwilliam, 
who had a strong bias in the Earl's favour, obtained the 
remaining four years for him, but on condition of paying 
300 fat beeves a year in addition to the rent. The two 
chiefs continued nevertheless to quarrel, and it is curious to 
note how the English officials sided with Tyrone. The mere 
fact that he represented the settlement by patent was enough 
for many of them, and they did not see the danger of making 

Tyrone aid 


1 Relation by Carew, May 28, 1590, and his letters of May 31 and July 
26 to Burghley, Raleigh, and Heneage, all in Carew. The Master of the 
Ordnance evidently sympathises with the poor soldiers. See also Loftus to 
Hatton and Burghley, May 31. 


him supreme in the North. Shane O'Neill's sons were giving CHAP. 

trouble, and the ghost seemed more terrible than the reality. , - 

Con MacShane had long been a prisoner with Tirlogh 
Luineach, but was now released and taken into his confidence. 
A brother, Hugh Gavelagh, who had been two years in Scot- 
land, now returned to Ulster, and was supposed to have 
incurred Tyrone's enmity by giving information to the 
Government. He had promised Perrott to bring over no 
Scots, and he kept his word ; but it was known that he might 
have plenty if he wished, and his popularity in the North 
was very great. Hugh Gavelagh was seized by some of the 
Maguires, sold to Tyrone, and by him hanged on a thorn- Tyrone 

J _ hangs one 

tree, and it was reported all over Ireland that the Earl cf Shane 
could find no executioner, and had to do the business himself. SO n S ^ 
This he denied, giving the names of the actual operators, 
and defending his conduct strenuously. Hugh Gavelagh, 
he said, had murdered many men, women, and children, and 
there was no regular law in Ulster, ' but certain customs 
. . . and I hope her Majesty will consider that, as her 
Highness's lieutenant under the Deputy (as I take myself 
within my own territory), I am bound to do justice upon 
thieves and murderers; otherwise, if I be restrained from 
such-like executions, and liberty left to O'Neill, O'Donnell, 
and others to use their ancient customs, then should I not 
be able to defend my country from their violence and wrongs.' 
In this sentence we have the whole difficulty of Tudor rule in 
Ireland briefly expressed. The Government was not strong 
enough to enforce equal justice, and practically confessed its 
impotence by allowing authority to lapse into the hands of 
Tyrone and such as he. From Fitzwilliam downwards, 
nearly all the officials seemed to think that they could keep and aims at 
things quiet by strengthening a man who aimed at being 
Neill in the fullest sense of the word, but who was quite 
ready to play at being an earl when it suited him, and to 
remember his English education. .Walsingham saw more 
clearly from a distance, and wished to make Tirlogh 
Luineach Earl of Omagh, with an estate of inheritance in 
his part of Tyrone, and with a superiority over O'Cahan for 


CHAP. life. To his rival he was willing to give the rest, including 

>- , '-^ a perpetual superiority over Maguire. But Tyrone was 

determined to have all, and the men immediately responsible 

for order found it convenient to support the younger, the 

abler, and, as it turned out, the more ambitious and dangerous 

man. 1 

Pivpi j n order to understand the history of Ulster during the 

O Neills. * 

last decade of Queen Elizabeth, it may be well to define the 
position of parties there just before Tyrone entered upon his last 
struggle. Besides the Earl himself, who was for a long time 
" looked upon as the representative of English ideas, and who 
was probably not an O'Neill at all, there were three families 
who claimed to be at the head of the ruling race. Tirlogh 
Brasselagh, Shane O'Neill's uncle, claimed to be the eldest of 
the house, and, according to ancient Celtic notions, he had 
perhaps the best right. His lands lay to the south of Lough 
Neagh, and he had many sons ; but his party was, on the 
whole, the weakest. Tirlogh Luineach, the actual chief, re- 
presented the family of Art Oge, who had long been excluded 
from the supremacy, and he was thought to hold his position 
more by force and policy than by right. His eldest son, Sir 
Arthur, seems not to have been legitimate, but was fully 
acknowledged as his heir male both by Tyrone and by the 
Government : his influence was greatest in what are now the 
The Mac- baronies of Strabane. The third set of pretenders were Shane 


O'Neill's seven sons, known as the MacShanes. Their legiti- 
macy is not worth discussing ; but they were favourites with 
the Irish, and by them generally thought to have the best 
right. Hugh Gavelagh, Con, and Brian were at this time the 
most formidable. Tyrone says he made an agreement with 
Tirlogh Luineach that one of these three should always remain 
with him as hostage, that Hugh Gavelagh's neck was specially 
pledged for its performance, and that the breach was the 

1 Walsingham's opinion and other papers in April 1587; Lord Deputy 
and Council to the Privy Council, March 31 and May 15, 1589 ; Kildare to 
Burghley, May 31, 1590 ; Tyrone's answer to Articles, March 19, 1590. All 
Fitzwilliam's letters during this period bear out the text ; see the Four 
Masters, who say Hugh Gavelagh was greatly lamented, and O'Donovan's 
notes under 1590. 


cause of his death. The other brothers were Henry, Arthur, CHAP. 

Edmund, and Tirlogh. With a score or so of fighting 1, L- 

O'Neills, all trying to be first, it is not surprising that Ulster 
was turbulent, or that its reduction by the strong hand was 
only a question of time. 1 

The actual chief of Tyrconnell was Sir Hugh O'Donnell, Rival 
the husband of Ineen Duive, whose own son, Hugh Eoe, was 
in prison. Donnell, an elder and seemingly illegitimate son, 
by an Irish mother, was made sheriff by Fitzwilliam in 1588, 
and was a thorn in Ineen's side. Calvagh's son Con died 
in 1583, but he in turn left nine sons, of whom Nial Garv 
was the most formidable, and their claims under the patent 
could hardly be denied. A third set of pretenders were the 
descendants of Hugh Duff, who were of the eldest blood, and 
who appealed to Celiic law. But the favourite of the clans- 
men was young Hugh Roe. All the tribes of the North 
depended more or 1 less upon O'Donnell and O'Neill, and the 
lesser chiefries were in dispute as much as the greater. 2 

There was a prophecy that Ireland should be delivered Hush Roe 
by the O'Donnells when Hugh succeeded lawfully to Hugh. 
Its fulfilment was expected in Henry VIII. 's time, and now 
again it was in men's mouths. Perrott, who had small regard 
for such fancies, noticed the boy's importance, and decided 
that he would be a good pledge. In the winter of 1587, he 
sent a ship laden with wine and manned by fifty armed men 
round to Lough Swilly, where the master, John Bermingham 
of Dublin, traded freely with the natives. Hugh Roe came 
to hunt in the neighbourhood, or to visit MacSwiney Fanad, 
near whose castle of Rathmullen the false merchantman lay. 
As soon as the strangers heard of his arrival they went on 
board and kept careful watch. In due course messengers 

1 Archbishop Magrath's report to the Queen, May 30, 1592 ; for Sir 
Arthur O'Neill see Tirlogh Luineach's petition, July 1, 1587 ; for the Mac- 
Shanes see Tyrone's answer to Articles, March 19, 1590, and the opinion of 
Coke, S. G., Aug. 13, 1592. 

* The O'Donnell tangle may be understood from Archbishop Magrath's 
report, May 30, 1592, and from the Appendix to O'Donovan's Four Masters 
See also Fitzwilliam, Loftus, and Fenton to the Privy Council, Dec 31 




came from MacSwiney, who wanted wine to entertain his 
distinguished guest. Bermingham answered that he had 
sold all he had to spare, but would be most happy to enter- 
Kidnapped tain MacSwiney and the gentlemen with him. They came 
io87. ir ' n board accordingly, and when they had caroused for some 
time in the cabin, the seamen quietly got under way, shut 
down the hatches, and carried the whole party out to sea. 
Pursuit was impossible, for the natives had no boats ; and 
Hugh Roe was lodged in Dublin Castle, where he found many 
companions in misfortune, and where prisoners ' beguiled the 
time only by lamenting to each other their troubles, and 
listening to the cruel sentences passed on the high-born 
nobles of Ireland.' l 

Although not more than fifteen or sixteen years old, Hugh 
Roe was married to Tyrone's daughter, and the whole North 
S9i nne11 ' was tllus interested in his safety. Perrott refused 2,OOOZ. for 
his release, and he remained in prison until Fitzwilliam's 
time. His brother Donnell, who married a daughter of Tir- 
logh Luineach, would have seized the chiefry, had he not 
been killed in resisting a force raised by Ineen Duive on 
behalf of her husband and son. Hugh's fellow-prisoners 
were hostages from every part of Ireland : among them being 
Henry and Arthur, sons of Shane O'Neill, and Patrick Fitz- 
maurice, afterwards Lord of Kerry. The seneschal of Imokilly 
died in the Castle early in 1589. After more than three 
years' confinement, Hugh Roe found means to escape with 
some of his friends. A wet ditch at that time surrounded 
the Castle, and the approach was over the wooden bridge, 
where the Lord Deputy had lately come into collision with 
the mutineers. The favour, almost amounting to subservience, 
which Fitzwilliam showed to Tyrone made people think that 
he was ready to connive at his son-in-law's escape ; but this 
is very hard to believe. ' Upon my duty,' he said when sup- 
porting one of the Earl's numerous applications for Hugh's 
release, ' no reward maketh me write thus much.' Friendly 
partisans were numerous in Dublin, and the soldiers who kept 

1 Four Masters, 1587; Perrott's Life, p. 278; Tyrone to Walsinghfim, 
Dec. 10, 1587. 



influences. A rope was conveyed into the Castle, and Hugh , ' 

slipped on to the bridge in the dusk of evening. The sentry 
was for the moment inside the gatehouse, and the prisoners 
managed to chain the gate on the outside. Art Kavanagh, 
1 a renowned warrior of Leinster,' was near with swords 
hidden under his Irish mantle, and the whole party 
slipped out of the town, and across the mountains to a wood 
near Powerscourt. Hugh's companions here left him, for his 
shoes had fallen to pieces with the wet, and his feet were 
lacerated by the furze. Felim O'Toole, the lord of the neigh- 
bouring castles, was appealed to; for he had lately visited 
Hugh in prison, and was supposed to be his friend, the rather 
that he had married the sister of Feagh MacHugh O'Byrne. 
Fearing to offend the Government, or believing that escape 
was hopeless, O'Toole decided to gain credit for loyalty, and 
he gave up the fugitive, who was taken back to Dublin and 
loaded with irons. 1 

A plot in private life may have great public consequences, Tyrone 
as every generation can testify. The Helen of the Elizabethan Mabel W 
wars was Mabel Bagenal, daughter of Sir Nicholas and sister Ba ^enai, 
of Sir Henry, whose charms were at least one principal cause 
of the Ulster revolt. Tyrone had been first married to a 
daughter of Sir Brian MacPhelim O'Neill, from whom, ac- 
cording to his own account, he was ' divorced by the orders 
of the Church.' As to the validity of this divorce there were 
certainly doubts at the time, but the repudiated wife married 
again and had children. Tyrone's second venture was with 
an O'Donnell, and he talked of discarding her too, though 
possibly without intending to do it. She died, and he then 
fell in love with Miss Bagenal, whom he might see at Newry 
as often as he pleased. Bagenal would not consent to the 
match, and his objections had some weight : the possible 
opposition of the Queen, ' the incivility of the Earl's country 
not agreeing with his sister's education, and the uncertainty 

1 Four Masters, 1590 ; Note of pledges in Dublin Castle, Aug. 1588 ; 
Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Nov. 29, 1 589, and to Sir G. Carew in Carerv, 
Jan. 15, 1591. 



which her 






of a jointure to be allotted for her maintenance after the 
Earl's death,' being those which seemed important to the Irish 
Government. Tyrone was a much more civilised being than 
Shane O'Neill, and Mabel Bagenal was more accustomed to 
Irish ways than Lady Frances Radclyffe ; but Bagenal hated 
the proposed alliance as much as Sussex. ' I can,' he told 
Burghley, ' but accurse myself and fortune that my blood, 
which in my father and myself hath often been spilled in 
repressing this rebellious race, should now be mingled with 
so traitorous a stock and kindred.' To keep her out of harm's 
way, he sent Mabel to her sister, who was married to Sir 
Patrick Barnewall, and who lived at Turvey near Swords ; 
but Tyrone invited himself to the house for a night, obtained 
a secret promise of her hand, and presented her with a gold 
chain worth a hundred pounds. A few days after this he 
came to Turvey to dine with several friends, and after dinner 
the young lady slipped away on horseback behind one of 
them. ' When I understood,' he said, ' that my prey (the 
language of cattle-lifting) was well forward in her way 
towards the place where we had agreed upon, I took my 
leave of Sir Patrick Barnewall and his lady, and followed after, 
and soon after I was gone, the gentlemen which were in com- 
pany with me took their horses and came away privately.' l 

Tyrone was fifty and Mabel twenty, which makes the 
romance rather less romantic, and Bagenal may have been 
right in saying that he did ' by taking advantage of her 
years and ignorance of his barbarous estate and course of 
living, entice the unfortunate girl by nursing in her through 
the report of some corrupted persons an opinion of his 
haviour and greatness.' At all events she probably liked 
the idea of being a countess. Tyrone's intentions were so far 
honourable, in spite of Bagehal's insinuations to the contrary, 
and the marriage was celebrated at William Warren's house 
near Dublin, by no less a person than the Bishop of Meath, 
who declared that he was chiefly actuated by regard ' for the 
gentlewoman's credit.' And, as Tyrone well knew, regard for 

1 Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, Aug. 21, 1591 ; Sir 
n. Bagenal to Burghley, Aug. 13 ; Tyrone to the Privy Council, Oct. 31. 


Bishop Jones's credit would prevent the marriage from being CHAP. 

seriously questioned. But Bagenal's hostility was unabated, , '-* 

and even in his sister's presence Tyrone openly declared that 

he hated no man in the world so much as the Knight Marshal. 

There is no evidence that he ill-treated her, as Shane ill-treated 

his victim, but there is some that she was not altogether 

happy in the wild life which she had chosen, or with her 

crafty and unscrupulous mate. She died after less than five 

years of matrimony, and so did not live to see her brother 

killed in conflict with her husband. 1 

1 The documents are collected in the Irish Arch. Journal, N. S. vol. i. 
pp. 298-314. One of Tyrone's main grievances against Bagenal was that 
he would not pay him the 1,OOOZ. reserved to his sister by her father's 
will ; and he continued to clamour for this money even after poor Mabel's 






( escape of 




His suffer- 
ings from 



IT was no new thing that prisoners should escape from Dublin 
Castle, nor that they should be brought back again ; and 
Hugh Roe did not despair. A year after his first attempt, 
and at the same evening hour, he knocked off his irons and 
lowered himself with a long rope into the ditch. His com- 
panions were Shane O'Neill's sons, Henry and Art, and they 
were helped outside by Tyrone's confidential servant, Tirlogh 
O'Hagan. The fugitives passed through the streets unnoticed, 
and reached the mountains that same night. Their sufferings 
from exposure were great, and Art O'Neill, who had grown 
fat in prison, and had besides received a blow from a falling 
stone when getting out of it, was forced to lie down under 
a rock at the foot of the mountains. Edward Eustace, who 
had been sent by Feagh MacHugh to act as guide, was 
now despatched to that chief, and food and beer were sent to 
their relief. The men who brought the provisions said that 
O'Neill was past help, and there he died. Hugh was badly 
frostbitten and the nails of his great toes afterwards fell off, 
but he was able to drink some beer, and they carried him to 
a solitary house in the woods of Glenmalure. In due course 
Tyrone sent a messenger, with whom he travelled northwards, 
though he had to be lifted into the saddle and out of it. Felim 
O'Toole was now eager to help, and accompanied him to the 
Liffey, which he forded unperceived just above Dublin. His 
guide spoke English, and led him through Meath to the 
neighbourhood of Drogheda. Avoiding the town, they diverged 
to Mellifont, which belonged to Sir Edward Moore, and here 
they were lodged and helped on their way. After resting until 


the evening of next day, they rode all night, and passed CHAP. 
through Dundalk as soon as the gates were opened in the ' 

morning. The danger was now over, and Tirlogh Mac- 
Henry O'Neill, whose power lay in the south part of Armagh, 
forwarded them safely to Dungannon, whence Tyrone sent 
Hugh O'Donnell, under escort, to Lough Erne. Here he was 
met by Maguire, and brought in triumph to Ballyshannon. 
Henry MacShane O'Neill did not go to Glenmalure at all, 
but escaped northwards from the Dublin mountains, among 
which his brother had died, and thus fell into Tyrone's hands. 
The Earl kept him long in captivity, and it is probable that 
in helping his son-in-law to escape, he also intended to pre- 
vent the Government from setting up the MacShanes against 
him. 1 

Hugh Maguire said that he had given Fitzwilliam 300 O'Donmli, 
cows to free his country from a sheriff, but that one had 
nevertheless been appointed, in the person of Captain Willis. 
This officer did not confine his attention to Fermanagh, and 
much of Tyrconnell was actually in his power. This company, 
who bore a very bad character in the country, were quartered 
in the monastery of Donegal, from which they expelled the 
friars, and Hugh Roe's first care was to get rid of the in- 
truders. The O'Donnells mustered m large numbers, and 
Willis and his men were glad to escape with their lives into 
Connaught. The friars then returned to their house. During 
March and April Hugh was in the hands of the doctors, who 
are said to have amputated both his great toes ; but in May 
his father made way for him, and he was installed as O'Donnell 
with the usual ceremonies. Two expeditions against Tirlogh 
Luiiieach followed, and all the country about Strabane was 
laid waste. Nor was Tyrone quite idle, for he allowed his son and Ty- 
Con to attack MacKenna, the chief of Trough, who had profited 
by Fitzwilliam's settlement of the MacMahons' country. The 

1 Four Masters, 1592. On Feb. 27, Gardiner, C. J., writes to Burghley 
that Hugh Eoe is back in Donegal ; under May 31, 1589, there is a list of 
twenty-two prisoners who had escaped from Dublin Castle, of which eleven 
had been brought back, but Hugh Roe is not mentioned. In 159-1 Henry, 
Con, and Brian MacShane were all in Tyrone's custody ; (No. 139) in Carew 
of that year. 

Q 2 




Tyrone in- 
to submit, 

Sir John 
IVrrott 3 

opportunity taken was while MacKenna was attending tho 
sessions at Monaghan, and the commissioners were forced to 
adjourn. It suited neither O'Neills nor O'Donnells to have 
sheriffs and gibbets so near them. 1 

Fitzwilliam proceeded to Dundalk, intent upon making 
Tyrone give up the offenders, so that they might be hanged 
at Monaghan, but the outrage turned out to be much less 
grave than was reported. Anxious to gain a good character, 
which might be of use to him in arranging his law suits with 
Tirlogh Luineach, Tyrone went to Donegal, and brought 
Hugh Roe O'Donnell with him into the Lord Deputy's 
presence. Hugh made public submission in the church at 
Dundalk, swearing to be loyal like his father, and to expel 
strangers from his country. The result was that all oppo- 
sition to him ceased in Tyrconnell, since no pretender could 
hope to cope with a chief who enjoyed the help of the 
Government. 2 

It has been often said that Sir John Perrott was 
driven out of Ireland by intrigue, but the fact is that he 
had long clamoured for his own recall. In England he en- 
joyed considerable influence, sat as a Privy Councillor, and 
remained in communication with several men of position 
in Ireland. But he made enemies everywhere, and it is 
supposed that the real cause of his downfall was a quarrel 
with the Chancellor, whom he openly taunted with having 
danced himself on to the woolsack. ' Sir John Perrott 
talked,' says one biographer, ' while Sir Christopher Hatton 
thought.' He despised the usual and perhaps necessary 
arts of a courtier, and was too frequently absent from the 
centre of favour and intrigue. Burghley was certainly his 
friend, but, great as was the old minister's power, he could 
not always prevail against combinations. In Dublin the 

1 Four Masters, 1592 ; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, July 7. Captain Lee, in 
Desiderata Curiosa Hiberniea, vol. i. p. 106, says Willis had with him three 
hundred of the very rascals and scum of that kingdom, which did rob and 
spoil that people, ravish their wives and daughters, and make havoc of 

2 Fmir Matters, 1592 ; Tyrone to Burghley, Aug. 2 ; Fitzwilliam to 
Burghley, Aug. 8. 



official set were generally hostile to Perrott, and many had CHAP. 

personal grudges against him. He himself attributed his - . ' 

misfortunes to Loftus, whom he had abused for not allowing ^ e s m ; eg 
St. Patrick's Cathedral to be turned into a college, and Bishop 
Jones had also his grievances. Philip Williams, Perrott's 
secretary, having been dismissed and imprisoned by him, 
offered to disclose matters affecting the Queen ; and it was 
to the Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Meath that he 
applied for help. Sir Nicholas White, who in some degree 
represented the old English families of Ireland, as dis- 
tinguished from the purely English and official element, 
was favourable to Perrott. His firmest ally was Kichard 
Meredith, a Welshman, who had been his chaplain, and 
who held the deanery of St. Patrick's and the bishopric 
of Leighlin together. Sir Richard Bingham, who had no 
cause to love Perrott, does not seem to have borne malice ; 
but Fitzwilliam evidently leaned to the side of his accusers. 
The late Deputy's language was not only violent, but had 
that unfortunate quality of picturesqueness which made 
people remember it. Thus Loftus could tell Burghley, with 
the certainty of getting corroborative evidence, how his 
enemy had boasted that he would send the Council out of 
Dublin Castle on cabbage-stalks, and how he had threatened 
to pull the Archbishop into small pieces, like grass between 
his fingers. Such speeches were not treasonable, but they 
show why so many men were anxious to prove that Sir John 
Perrott was a traitor. 1 

Numerous accusations were brought against Perrott soon Charges 
after his return to England, but he had little difficulty in 
meeting them. Matters became more serious when a letter 
purporting to be written by him was actually produced, 
in which he offered to make Philip II. king of England and 
Ireland, on condition of being made hereditary Prince of 

1 Loftus to Burghley, Dec. 27, 1590, and Feb. 4, 1591 ; Lloyd's State 
Worthies. Loftus began the attack by recommending Philip Williams to 
Burghley, Dec. 18, 1586. Williams's wife applied to Jones a few days later, 
and the Archbishop forwarded her letter, Jan. 1, 1587. FitzwilHam wrote 
to Burghley in favour of Williams, Sept. 17, 1590 ; see also Sir E. Bingham 
to Geo. Bingham, Oct. 29, 1591. 



Wales. It seems clear that the paper was forged by Charles 
Trevor, an adventurer who had been employed by O'Rourke 
to manage his son's escape from Oxford, and whom Perrott 
had formerly imprisoned. His companion in the Castle, 
and perhaps his accomplice in the forgery, was one Dennis 
O'Roughan or Roughan, who had originally been a Roman 
Catholic priest and had lived in Spain. Finding it 
convenient to return, Roughan professed himself a Pro- 
testant, and had several children by Margaret Leonard of 
New Ross, whom some called his wife and some did not. 
He was evidently a liar of the first magnitude, for he told 
Fitzwilliam that he had said mass to Perrott, who was no 
persecutor, but who was certainly a sincere Protestant and 
a hater of Spaniards. When Trevor escaped from prison 
the forged letter, or one like it, remained in his hands, and 
lie seems to have been accused of several of the forgeries and 
found guilty of at least one. Roughan produced his false 
letter, and pretended to be in fear of his life from Perrott 's 
friends. With an evident desire to make the most of it all, 
the Deputy sent over his son, with orders to give the 
document to the Queen herself. Bishop Meredith observed 
that John Fitzwilliam would have to ride very fast if Perrott 
did not know all before her Majesty. Considering the 
abundant evidence as to Roughan's bad character and he 
was a perjurer by his own confession it might be supposed 
that no credit would have been given to him. Probably 
much of the truth was kept from the Queen's knowledge. 
An enquiry in Dublin had but doubtful results, and the 
commissioners, whom the Queen herself rebuked, were ac- 
cused of partiality to Perrott. They examined Roughan, 
who soon showed his real colours, and they were probably 
disinclined to do anything on such evidence. When the man 
v/ent to London, where nothing was known about him, he 
accused the commissioners of corrupt dealing, but he soon 
lost credit in England too. Fitzwilliam evidently leaned 
strongly against Perrott, and Sir N. White was placed under 
restraint by him. Whether anyone really believed Roughan 
may be doubted, but the information gained in connection 


with his story enabled Perrott's enemies to draw their net CHAP. 
, , . i XLIV. 
round him. 1 . 

At the beginning of February, 1591, Sir John Perrott was Trial of 
in the custody of the Lord Treasurer; and of his friends 159-2. ' 
we are told that the Bishop of Leighlin was merry in the 
Fleet, and Sir Nicholas White sad in the Marshalsea. Con- 
trary to the expectation of many, Sir John was sent to the 
Tower on March 8 ; and there he was destined to end his 
days. - His imprisonment was close, and he complained of 
impaired memory from the treatment he received. At last, 
in April 1592, he was brought to trial for treason, his indict- 
ment specifying that he had compassed the Queen's death. 
On one side were Popham, Egerton, and Puckering, and on 
the other a rough old knight, conscious of many rash speeches, 
but strong in the confidence which innocence gives, and ' re- 
nouncing the merits and mercy of his Savioar Jesus Christ ' 
if he was really guilty. The court did nothing to supply the 
want of counsel. Chief Justice Anderson behaved with his "~~ 
usual brutality, declaring that Perrott was worse than J 
Babington or than any of the traitors, and they were many, at 
whose trials he had assisted. Hunsdon was one of the Com- 
mission, and he also interfered very often and very unfairly. 
The accused could do little but protest that he was innocent, He is found 
and that Roughan and Williams were perjured scoundrels. 6 ullty 
He wished the devil might take him body and soul if he had 
uttered a certain coarse speech, which many thought the 
real cause of Elizabeth's animosity. He appealed to Rokeby, 
master of requests, who was one of his judges, whether his 
experience in Ireland had not taught him that witnesses there 

1 The forged letter is dated June 25, 1585, and calendared Feb. 16, 
1590; Commission dated March 20, 1590, from the Privy Council to the 
Bishops of Meath and Leighlin, Sir L. Dillon, Sir N. White, Sir E. Moore, 
Sir E. Waterhouse, Walshe, J., and Calthorpe, A. G. Dillon and White to 
Burghley, June 26 and 28, 1590 ; Bishop Meredith to Burghley, July 13, 
1590. Fitzwilliam's letters are too numerous to cite ; their general tenour 
bears out the text ; many letters as to Trevor, especially Sir E. Binghara 
to G. Bingham, Oct. 29, 1591. For the priest Koughan see an amusing 
account in Strype's Life of Aylmer, and for Perrott's quarrel with Loftus 
and Jones see his Annals (Eliz.) book ii. chaps. 3 and 4. For evidence of 
Roughan's perjuries see Morrin's Patent Rolls, 42 Eliz. No. 21. 




> , 




Death and 
of Ptrrott. 

had no respect for an oath and might be cheaply bribed to 
swear anything. God, he said, would plague his persecutors 
for their corrupt dealing. He was found guilty, but a great 
judge of our own time has described his trial as ' the scanda- 
lous attempt of prerogative lawyers of which Elizabeth her- 
self was ashamed to convert the peevish speeches against 
her, of that worthy old soldier, Sir John Perrott, into overt 
acts of high treason.' l 

1 Sir John Perrott,' says Swift, ' was the first man of 
quality whom I find upon the record to have sworn by God's 
wounds. He lived in the reign of Queen Elizabeth and was 
supposed to be a natural son of Henry VIII. who might also 
probably have been his instructor.' According to Naunton, 
who is not a bad authority on such a point, Perrott was aware 
of his royal parentage. ' What,' he asked the lieutenant of 
the Tower, with oaths and fury, ' will the Queen suffer her 
brother to be offered up a sacrifice to my skipping adversaries ? ' 
Naunton shows that circumstances make the fact not im- 
probable, and adds that Perrott's manners, appearance, and 
voice were like those which the Elizabethan tradition 
ascribed to Henry. Hatton, the chief of Sir John's skipping 
adversaries, was now dead ; and the Queen was urged by 
Burghley and others to spare a faithful, though rash, servant. 
At all events she refused to sign his death-warrant, and when 
his speech to Hopton was reported to her, she swore by God's 
death that they were all knaves. It was thought that she 
intended to pardon him, and she was often heard to applaud 
a rescript of Honorius, ' that if any person speak ill of the 
Emperor through a foolish rashness and inadvertency, it is 
to be despised ; if out of madness, it deserves pity ; if from 
malice and aversion, it calls for mercy.' Perrott died in the 
Tower in the following September ; but his chief request was 
granted, and his son was allowed to inherit. The fact of that 
son being married to Essex's sister may have had something 
to do with this. 2 

1 Lord Campbell's Chief Justice s, i. 247 ; Howell's State Trials, vol. i. 

1 Introduction to Swift's Polite Conversation ; Naunton's Fragwenta 
Regalia ; Howell'o State Triah. There is a curious account of Sir Thomas 
Perrott's marriage with Lady Dorothy Devereux in Strype's Aylmer. 


The disputes between Tyrone and Tirlogh Luineach were CHAP. 

hard to settle, for the several grants were not easily reconcilable -- . '~* 
with one another. But Coke's opinion was taken, and that 

great lawyer laid down that, by virtue of an indenture made tens the 
in 1587, the Earl might be forced to leave Tirlogh and his son chiefry 
in quiet possession of such lands as should be awarded to them 
by inquisition. This had been practically a condition of re- 
viving the earldom in Hugh's person, and the older grant of 
all Tyrone by Henry VIII. was so far modified by it. As to 
the lands, Fitzwilliam effected an arrangement nearly in ac- 
cordance with Coke's opinion ; but Tirlogh was now old, and 
finding himself unable to resist both Tyrone and O'Donnell, 
he thought it wiser to resign his chiefry in his rival's favour. 
' Hugh O'Neill, namely the Earl,' say the Four Masters, ' was in Tyrone's 
then styled the O'Neill, and Tirlogh Luiueach, having made 1593. 
peace with O'Neill and O'Donnell, sent away the English 
whom he had with him. This was done in May 1593. 
Ulster was then under the peaceable government of these 
two ; and they had hostages of the inhabitants in their power, 
so that they were subject to them.' l 

Tyrone's object for the movement was to keep things The Four 
quiet and to gain credit for loyalty ; but neither he nor notions^of 
O'Donnell ever enjoyed much of the peaceable power de- P eace - 
scribed by the annalists. Brian Oge O'Rourke had a dispute 
with the Binghams about his composition rent, and plundered 
the country about Ballymote. Maguire's emulation was 
aroused, and, in spite of a promise to Tyrone, he also in- 
vaded Connaught, leaving Lough Allen to his left, and 
penetrating to Tulsk in Roscommon, where Sir Richard 
Bingham was encamped. The English party were out- 
numbered, and Maguire drove off many cattle, but, in the 
running fight which followed, Edmund MacGauran, titular 

primate of all Ireland, was killed. According to Bingham, A titular 


1 Fitzwilliam and Bagenal to Burghley, July 25, 1592 ; Mr. Solicitor- 
General Coke to Burghley, Aug. 13 ; Four Masters, 1593. By the articles 
of agreement concluded at Dundalk on June 28, 1593, Tirlogh Luineach 
was awarded a life-interest in the Strabane district, while the Earl's 
supremacy was acknowledged over all Tyrone. 


CHAP. MacGauran was constantly occupied in stirring up sedition, 

r ^ which he fostered by assurances of Spanish aid. ' He was, 

he says, 'a champion of the Pope's, like Dr. Allen, the 
notable traitor ; but, God be thanked, he hath left his dead 
carcase on the Maugherie, only the said rebels carried his 
head away with them that they might universally bemoan 
him at home.' O'Sullivan said that the Archbishop had 
special orders from Philip II. to stir up war against the 
Protestants, and to hold out hopes of Spanish succours, and 
that Maguire was sorry for his loss rather than pleased at 
the spoil which he was able to secure. 1 

Maguire O'Rourke kept Bingham pretty busy during the summer, 

Monaghan, and Maguire turned his attention to Monaghan. It was not 
difficult to raise a party among the MacMahons, and Monaghan 
was vigorously attacked early in September. The garrison 
repulsed the assailants, but not without considerable loss, and 
Pitzwilliam found it necessary to make* a great display of 
force. Bagenal and Tyrone commanded the troops, which 
were collected at Clones, and Maguire drove off his flocks 
and herds into Tyrconnell. The fords over the Erne near 
Belleek were found indefensible against so strong a force, 
hut i but Tyrone was severely wounded in the thigh. This victory 
Tyrone, " V ^ *^ e brothers-in-law only increased their mutual hatred, 
for the Marshal claimed most of the credit, which the Earl 
thought belonged to him. The O'Neills were engaged in 
large numbers, and the tactics which afterwards proved so 
fatal to Bagenal had been employed on his side. ' Maguire's 
assailants,' says O'Sullivan Bere, ' had 700 horse against 100, 
and musketeers against archers, and the leaden bullets went 
further than the arrows. The musketeers in the woods 

1 Bingham's letter of June 28, 1593, is quoted in Brady's Episcopal 
Succession, i. 223; O'Sullivan Bere, torn. iii. lib. 2, cap. 6. There is an 
original intercepted letter at Hatfield from Primate MacGauran to Captain 
Eustace, dated Madrid, June 28, 1591, in which the writer says : ' I hope 
in God Ireland will soon be free from Englishmen, and notwithstanding 
that the Catholic King his captains be slow in their affairs, I am certain 
that the men now purposed to be sent to comfort the same poor island, 
which is in distress a long time, will not be slow. I ought not to write 
much unto you touching those causes, for I know that a Spaniard shall be 
chief governor of them. The Irish regiment is written for.' 



bordering on the river shot down with impunity the Catholics 
who stood in the open, while the archers could take no aim 
at men protected by thick clumps of trees.' The same writer 
says that Bagenal asked Tyrone to write in praise of his 
valour both to the Queen and to the Deputy, and that the 
Earl replied that he would tell the truth when he came 
into their presence. It was one of Tyrone's grievances 
that Bagenal got more than his due share of credit, but it 
is probable that this was mainly an excuse for the course 
upon which he had already determined. According to 
O'Sullivan, O'Donnell was on his way to help Maguire, but 
was delayed by a messenger from Tyrone, who begged him 
not to compromise him while in the power of the Protestants, 
whose party he was afeout to desert. Tyrone believed, or 
pretended to believe, that the Marshal had orders from 
Fitzwilliam to arrest him. ; and, wounded as he was, he with- 
drew to Dungannon, out of harm's way. This was his last 
service to the Crown during Elizabeth's life, and the annalists 
believed that it was rendered unwillingly. 1 

Bingham pressed Maguire from the Connaught side, and 
boats were launched upon Lough Erne, so that the defeated 
chief was hunted from island to island, during a great part of 
the winter. To find his cattle was to take them, for no resist- 
ance could be made ; but Euniskillen Castle held out for a 
long time against the fire of field-pieces. ' To present her 
Majesty's forces,' said Fenton, { before a castle in Ireland and 
not to carry it were highly dishonourable to the State, and 
a dangerous preparation to all the Irish to think less of her 
Majesty's strength.' But the soldiers worked while the 
Secretary criticised, and early in February Enniskillen was 
taken by assault, on the ninth day of the actual siege. Boats, 
protected with hides and hurdles, kept the garrison occupied, 
while the trenches were advanced, and ladders were used for 
the final storm. But O'Sullivan declared that the place would 
never have been taken had not Bingham bribed one of the 
warders, known from his hideous countenance as ' the pig's 

1 O'Sullivan, torn. iii. lib. 2, cap. 7 ; Four Masters, 1593 ; Shirley's 
MonayJian,pp. 97 and 98 ; the Earl of Tyrone's grievances, March 14, 1594. 


who soon 








tions with 

son.' The traitor, he says, made a feigned resistance only, 
and was spared, while the rest, including some women, were 
put to the sword. Maguire was driven into Tyrone with a 
few followers, but Bingham maintained that nothing had 
really been done until Bundrowes, Ballyshannon, and Belleek 
were taken from O'Donnell. The Lord Deputy did not like 
Bingham nor his advice, but the event proved that the latter 
was right. 1 

Fitzwilliam's health had been failing since the summer of 
1592, and latterly he had been very anxious to leave Ireland. 
The Queen had been ready to recall him at Michaelmas, but 
Burghley said he should have the honour of finishing Maguire's 
affair, and he could only beg that he should not be expected 
to catch a runagate rogue. ' I am,' he said, ' upon the pitch 
of sixty-nine years old, my body is weak, my stomach weaker, 
the stone doth oft torment me, and now the gout hath utterly 
lamed me in my leg. My sight and memory do both fail me, 
so that I am less than half a man, and not much more than a 
dead man.' Had the Queen adhered to her original intention 
he might have been spared these pains. He was now directed 
to appoint Lords Justices if he felt too ill to carry on the 
routine business of government, but if possible to retain office 
until the arrival of his successor. The new viceroy was Sir 
William Russell, fourth son of Francis, Earl of Bedford, who 
had served with credit in Holland, who was by Sidney's side 
when he received his death-wound, and who succeeded him as 
. governor of Flushing. Fitzwilliam did not find it necessary 
to appoint Lords Justices, but he was unable to leave Dublin, 
and negotiations with Tyrone were referred to commissioners. 
The Earl maintained that he was quite loyal, but that the 
Lord Deputy and the Marshal were in league against him. 
Bagenal had orders to treat with O'Donnell, and sent one 
Darby Newman, from Newry, to make a beginning. Tyrone 
received Newman at Dungannon, and refused to send him on 
to Strabane. Bagenal's emissary, he said, was not sufficiently 

1 Fenton to Burghley, Feb. 2, 1594 ; Captain John Dowdall to Fitz. 
william, Feb. 2, 3, and 7 ; Bingham to Puckering, C. S., Feb. 15; Cornelius 
Maguire to Fitzwilliam, Feb. 7 ; O'Sullivan, torn. iii. lib. 7, cap. 7. 


important to risk his credit for ; he had already done too CHAP. 

much, and was determined that Tyrconnell should not be < , '-* 

treated as Fermanagh had been. The Marshal, he added, 
raising his voice for all to hear, might do it by himself if he 
could. Maguire was now again at the head of 200 or 300 
men, and would not leave a head on anyone's shoulders who 
wore hat or cloak, or who spoke a word of English. With 
Bagenal he would have no dealings, nor would he let O'Donnell 
have any ; but any other commissioner should be welcome to 
his country. Archbishop Loftus, Chief Justice Gardiner, and 
Sir Anthony St. Leger, the Master of the Rolls, were chosen, 
and they proceeded to Dundalk early in March. In the mean- 
time, Tyrone tried to enlist the great influence of Ormonde 
on his side, and his letters were so startling that the latter 
thought it right to send them straight to the Queen. 1 

Tyrone kept the commissioners waiting for some days, Tyrone's 
professing to be afraid of Bagenal's treachery; but he gae 
appeared at last on protection, and gave in a long list of 
grievances. Hatred of the Marshal, whom he accused of 
bribing Fitzwilliam with money extorted from the people 
under him, seems indeed to have been the mainspring of hia 
movements at this time. As to the settlement of Monaghan, 
for instance, he says that ' every peddling merchant and other 
men of no account had a share of the land ; and the Marshal 
(who never took pains in bringing of that country to subjec- 
tion) had a great part of it.' Besides the general statement 
of his grievances given to the commissioners, Tyrone sent a 
secret article to Sir Henry Wallop, whom he thought inclined 
to favour him. In this he alleged specific acts of corruption 
against Fitzwilliam and Bagenal, saying that he did not 
mention these to the commissioners only because they were in 
such haste to be gone. But before Loftus and his colleagues 
left Dundalk he promised to keep the peace until his cause 
could be heard impartially, and swore that if O'Donnell or any 

1 Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Jan. 30, 1594 ; to Cecil same date; Ormonde 
to Burghley, Feb. 20 ; Tyrone to Bagenal, Feb. 17 ; declaration of Darby 
Newman, Feb. 19 ; draft minute by Burghley and others concerning the 
viceroyalty, March. 



\villi. tin's 
opinion of 

and of 

other broke out in the meantime, he would be the first to cut 
his throat. This did not prevent some of the O'Neills from 
immediately harrying the Marshal's country, nor from burning 
houses with women and children in them. Indeed there can 
be little doubt that it was a main object with Tyrone, as it 
had been with Shane O'Neill, to get rid of the settlement at 
Newry. It was planted on purpose to bridle Ulster, and it 
had proved effective. And English laws or English officers 
are unpopular in Ireland exactly in proportion to their 
efficiency. 1 

Fitzwilliam emphatically denied all charges of corruption 
against himself, and said he had always treated Tyrone with 
the consideration due to a useful instrument. Appearances 
were now very much against him, and the Chief Justice had 
shown scandalous partiality in separating from his fellow- 
commissioners and remaining for two or three days quite 
alone with the Earl. Captain Thomas Lee too, who was a 
needy man and suspiciously intimate with Tyrone, had stolen 
away to him and was not likely to exercise a good influence. 
Lee, who was afterwards hanged at Tyburn for his share in 
the Essex conspiracy, distinguished himself in the Wicklow 
district, and he has left a curious paper in which he cautioned 
the Queen against the probable cost and trouble of an Ulster 
war. According to him the North could only be governed with 
Tyrone's help. The chief authority there should be in his 
hands, and, that being granted, there would be no difficulty 
in getting him to accept a sheriff and to have regular assizes 
at Dungannon. ' Being often his bedfellow,' says Lee, ' he 
hath divers times bemoaned himself, with tears in his eyes, 
saying if he knew any way in the world to behave himself 
(otherwise than he hath done) to procure your Majesty's 
assured good opinion of him, he would not spare (if it pleased 
you to command him) to offer himself to serve your highness 
in any part of the world against your enemies, though he were 
sure to lose his life .... which tears have neither proceeded 
from dissimulation, or of a childish disposition, (for all who 

1 Tyrone's grievances, March 14, 1594; Tyrone to Wallop, April 3; 
Bagenal to Fitzwilliam, March 20 ; Ormonde to Tyrone, May 21. 


know him will acquit him thereof) but of mere zeal unto your CHAP, 
highness, &c.' Of a childish disposition, indeed, he may well ^-A '-* 
be acquitted ; but dissimulation was his strong point. And I ' e . e> ? , 

opinion of 

Lee's proposed system of government involved arrangements Irish chiefs 
with other chiefs also ; yet he averred O'Donnell, Maguire, 
Brian Oge MacMahon, and Brian Oge O'Rourke to be 
traitors and villains and obstinate against the Queen. 
O'Donnell was married to one of Tyrone's daughters, and 
Maguire was soon to wed another. Again he says, ' all the 
friends to your highness in those countries are but two, 
O'Hanlon and Magennis. . . . O'Hanlon is married to the 
Earl of Tyrone's sister, and merely enriched by the Earl 
Magennis's eldest son is to marry the Earl's daughter. And 
if this affinity were [not], the manner of the Irish is always 
to the part they see strongest ; and when your Majesty (as 
there is no doubt) shall prevail, they will then seek favour 
and make offer of much service, but seldom or never perform 
any ; whereof myself have been too often a witness.' This tes- 
timony is remarkable because it exactly coincides with that of 
Bagenal, who said his neighbours, O'Hanlon and Magennis, 
were combined with Tyrone, not because they liked him, but 
because he seemed, for the moment, to be the strongest. In and of Sir 
Tyrone's interest Lee stigmatises Bagenal as a slanderer and 
a coward, but he agrees with him where his hero's interests are 
not specially concerned, praising Bingham to the skies and 
losing no opportunity of calling Feagh MacHugh a traitor. 1 

Burghley urged Ormonde, for his own honour and the Ormonde 
State's safety, to make some arrangement with Tyrone, and 
Sir George Carew, whose advice was taken about this time, 
believed that the new Irish trouble might thus be nipped in 
the bud. Ormonde, he said, ' has that credit with the Earl as 
at his will he can lead him to do what he list, for upon his 
wisdom and friendship he only dependeth.' A correspondence 

1 Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Feb. 28 and April 19, 1594; Bagenal to 
Fitzwilliam, March 20. Lee's declaration to the Queen is printed (with 
some obvious mistakes) in Desiderata, Cnriosa Ilibernica, vol. i. pp. 89 to 
150. It was written in England between Oct. 1594 and March 1596, as is 
proved by the references to Sir Robert Gardiner's ^movements. Lee was of 
lleban castle near Athy, where he had property. 


P^ ace accordingly, in which Ormonde entreated Tyrone 
to bear himself loyally in the sight of all, and never to forget 
the Queen's benefits. He had promised the commissioners 
to behave himself, and it was dishonourable for gentlemen to 
break their words. By presenting himself frankly to the 
Viceroy, as became a nobleman and a good subject, he would 
show that he had nothing to fear, and he might be sure of 
justice if he harboured no traitors in the meantime. Tyrone 
thanked his adviser heartily, promised to come to Dublin like 
the Queen's loyal subject as he was, and declared that he 
feared nothing but the spite of Fitzwilliam and Bagenal, who 
sought his life. As to harbouring rebels, there were two or 
three thousand proclaimed traitors in Ireland, and it would 
be strange if some were not sheltered near him. 1 

1 Flounce Owing in great measure to Ormonde's intercession, who 

in Monster, gave a bond in 1,0001. for his good behaviour, Florence Mac- 
)94 ' Carthy had been released from the Tower early in 1591 and 
left at liberty, provided he did not go more than three miles 
from London. He was a persistent and skilful suitor, and his 
constant pleas of poverty were not without their effect on the 
Queen. First she granted him a warrant of protection against 
arrest for debt, and then she devised a means of enriching 
him without expense to herself. David Lord Barry had been 
implicated in the Desmond treasons, and had been fined 500?., 
which he was not asked to pay. He looked upon this as in 
the nature of a mere recognizance, and he had done nothing 
whatever to forfeit it. The Queen had nothing new to com- 
plain of, but she gave Florence MacCarthy leave to recover 
the fine if he could. This was a poor reward for Barry's 
loyalty ; especially as he had been the first to warn the 
Government of the danger to be apprehended from Florence's 
marriage, and was even now cautioning them against letting 
Florence return to his own country. To Ireland, neverthe- 
less, he was allowed to go, and Fitzwilliam ordered Barry to 
pay the 500Z. in four quarterly instalments. It does not 

1 Ormonde to Tyrone, April 19 and 30, and May 21, 1594 ; Tyrone's 
answer to the letter of April 30 ; Burghley to Ormonde, April 7 ; Carew to 
Burghley, April 13. 


however, seem to have been paid, and Florence spent more CHAP. 

than the whole amount in costs. Lord Barry, who remained , '~> 

staunchly loyal, put in one dilatory plea after another, and 
in due course Florence was himself involved in treasonable 
plots. His brother-in-law Donell if the term can be used of 
a bastard continued to maintain himself in the character of 
Robin Hood, and the undertakers had their difficulties with 
both. 1 

Fitzwilliam's long public career was now at an end, though Remarks 
he lived until 1599. Years before he had expected to be w iiiiam's 
buried in Ireland and slandered in England ; and slandered he 
seems to have been, though he was allowed to sleep in his own 
.country. He was not a brilliant man, and he was never given 
the means of doing very great things ; but he steadily advanced 
the power of the Crown in Ireland. Not being a professional 
soldier he gained no remarkable victories ; but of his courage 
there could be no doubt, as the Dublin mutiny well proved. 
The charge of corruption has been commonly repeated against 
him, but this old-world gossip wants confirmation. It was the 
general practice to make accusations of covetousness against 
Irish officials, and especially against chief governors. Russell 
did not escape, and it is clear that many things capable of an 
ill interpretation would be done in a country where enough 
money was never forthcoming for the public service. It is 
evident that neither Elizabeth nor Burghley believed the 
stories against Fitzwilliam, and if an official satisfies those 
who employ him he can afford to despise unpopularity. He 
was not a great man, but he was eminently serviceable, and, 
if he gained no striking successes, his reign was free from 
crushing disasters. 

1 Florence MacCarthy's Life. 





Arrival of 



Tvrone in 



SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL left Theobalds on June 25, and did 
not reach Dublin till August 1. Even at midsummer no 
wind served to sail out of the Dee, and at Holyhead itseli 
there was a week's delay. Keeping to the letter of his in- 
structions, Russell refused to receive the sword until Fitz- 
william and the Council had given him a written account of 
the state of Leinster and Connaught; and this ten days' 
pause gave Tyrone time to look about him. Ormonde went 
to Dublin, and waited anxiously for eleven days to see whether 
the northern earl would perform his promise. On August 15, 
and to the great surprise of all men, Tyrone made his appear- 
ance, the late Deputy having sailed for England the day 
before. Russell had desired his predecessor to stay and make 
good his charges ; but Fitzwilliam declined, unless ordered to 
do so on his allegiance, and Tyrone was thus enabled to say 
that he would have easily cleared himself in his oppressor's 
presence, had the latter stayed but one day longer. 1 

On arriving in Dublin, Tyrone sent in a written submis- 
sion, and two days later he presented it on his knees to the 
Lord Deputy sitting in Council. Again he laid all blame on 
Fitzwilliam and Bagenal, acknowledging that his efforts to 
save his life from their machinations might have some appear- 
auce of ingratitude, and professing himself ready to serve the 
Queen and her new Deputy. He promised to do his best to 
restore peace in Ulster, to expel the Scots, and to protect the 
Pale. He was ready to receive a sheriff, provided Armagh 
and Tyrone were made one county, and to have a gaol at 

1 Russell to Cecil, Aug. 16, 1594, and to the Privy Council, An^. 17; 
Ormonde to Burghley, Aug. 19; Russell's Journal in Carerv, June to An 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 243 

Dungannon, and to pay a reasonable composition. He pro- CHAP. 

mised to send his eldest son, Hugh, to Wallop or Gardiner, , 1-* 

who might send him to an English university within three 
months, to give sufficient pledges, and to molest no English- 
man within his jurisdiction. The division of Armagh from 
Tyrone had long been part of a settled policy, and the fact 
that Tyrone insisted on its reversal should have been warning 
enough. At the same sitting of the Council Bagenal pro- 
duced a written statement of his charges against the Earl. 
The first of these, and the one which would weigh most with 
the Queen, was that many of Tyrone's foster-brothers and 
household servants had joined with Archbishop MacGauran, 
who was unquestionably the emissary of Rome and Spain, 
and that Tyrone had nevertheless protected and favoured 
them. But Bagenal was naturally not ready to prove his 
case by witnesses then and there, and upon this it was de- He is 
cided not to detain the Earl, although he had come in quite go free, 
voluntarily and without any condition whatever ; ' and it 
was resolved, for weighty considerations concerning Her 
Majesty's service, that the Earl should not be charged witli 
the said articles at this time, but to be deferred to a more 
fit time.' 

Russell afterwards said that he thought it safer to let him 
go, because his brother Cormac MacBaron was puffed up by 
some late successes, and, as tanist, would naturally take ad- 
vantage of the Earl's absence and be ready to cut his throat. 
Tyrone's submission, too, had been very humble : he had 
promised to banish the Scots, to appease the rebels, and to 
give his son as pledge. In fact his humility disappeared as 
soon as he was clear of the Pale; he neither expelled the 
Scots nor appeased the rebels, and he never sent his son to 
Dublin. The evident truth is that Russell, who was new to 
Ireland, was completely hoodwinked, and that the Council, 
after the manner of councils, took the course which was easiest 
for the moment, and sheltered both themselves and the Viceroy 
behind a formidable list of names. 1 

1 Submission and answers of Tyrone, Aup;. 15 and 17, 1594 ; informa- 
tions preferred by Sir Henry liajjenal, Auj,'. 17 ; Ormonde to 

n 2 


Fitzwilliam had confessed to Perrott that he received Ire- 
land from him in peace, and that he should do the Queen good 
service if he could leave it but half as well. Measured by 
that standard his success had not been great, for he left the 
island very much disturbed. Ulster was 'replenished with 
more treason than we have known it in former times.' Bing- 
ham had bridled Connaught ; but O'Rourke was with O'Don- 
nell, and was a constant source of danger. Feagh MacHugh 
and his crew were traitorously bent, and the arrival of 3,000 
Scots in Donegal was likely to aggravate the general peril. 
After all the fighting in Fermanagh her Majesty had no 
stronghold left there except Enniskillen, and that was closely 
besieged. Sir Henry Duke and Sir Edward Herbert were 
sent with 600 foot and 46 horse to revictual it, but could 
not, and Sir Richard Bingham went to help them with 200 
foot and 50 horse. Before he could arrive, Maguire and 
Cormac MacBaron had attacked the relieving force at the 
ford of Drumane on the Arney river, and routed them com- 
pletely. The convoy fell into the hands of the Irish, and the 
place was long known as the ' ford of biscuits.' This news 
met Bingham on his way northwards, and he returned to 
Dublin. The check was a severe one, and Russell lost no 
t j me [^ taking the field himself. His route was by Mullingar, 
Athlone, Roscommon, and Boyle, over the Curlews. Lough 
Arrow and Lough Allen were passed on the right hand and 
Lough Melvin on the left, the dangers of the march being 
from bogs and flooded rivers rather than from armed opposi- 
tion. Enniskillen was relieved for that time, and Dublin was 
reached on the twenty-second day. The return was by way 

Aug. 19; Resolution of Council, Aug. 17, signed by Russell, Loftus, C., 
Jones, Bishop of Meath, Ormonde, Gardiner, C. J., Napper, C. B., A. St. 
Leger, M.R., R. Bingham, T. Norris, R. Dillon, G. Bourchier, M.O. The 
letter of the 19th to the Privy Council has the same signatures with the 
addition of Secretary Fenton's. Russell's additional reasons, some of them 
after-thoughts perhaps, are in a paper later than Oct. 31. The defeat of 
Duke and Herbert at Enniskillen may have frightened some of the Council. 
Captain Thomas Lee, in his declaration already quoted (p. 112), tells the 
Queen that Tyrone 'came in upon the credit of your state,' but this is 
quite contrary to the evidence. 

To face page 244 , 



9 _ 5 ip 20 SOMles 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 245 

of Cavan, and the only casualties were from drowning at the CHAP. 

passages of the Sillees and the Erne. 1 \- 

Sir Edward Moore of Mellifont, who was on friendly The Queen 


terms with Tyrone, was employed to patch up a truce, and Russell. 
war was deferred until the new year. In the meantime 
Russell had to bear as best he might the Queen's severe blame 
for letting the Earl go, in spite of direct private orders from 
her. The reasons which he gave were indeed veiy inconclusive, 
and it is plain that Tyrone had known how to profit boldly by 
the moment of weakness which in Ireland has always attended 
every change of governors in old times, and every vicissitude 
of party in our own. But opinions were still divided as to 
Tyrone's real intentions. Some professed to believe that his 
animosity was only against Fitzwilliam and Bagenal, but 
others, if we may judge by the sequel, were less optimistic or 
better informed. Tyrone's brother had contributed to the Tyrone 

LTCIlCrfll 1 V 

disaster at Enniskillen, and neither he nor the O'Neills who suspected, 
served under him would have acted against the chiefs wish. 
There was plenty of Spanish gold circulating in Tyrone, and 
powder was being made there with imported sulphur. In 
Roman Catholic circles there were great hopes of what the 
Earl would do, but some feared that he sought an earthly 
rather than a heavenly kingdom. It was more certain that 
he had enormously increased his force, and that he was daily 
enlarging his power over the neighbouring chiefs. He had 
obtained leave to import a great quantity of lead by way of 
roofing his house at Duugannon, and that was now available 
to make bullets. It is difficult to say exactly when Tyrone's 
correspondence with Spain began, but some great movement 
was clearly impending. Jesuits and seminary priests swarmed 
throughout Ireland, and in any city or town, says one Protes- 
tant writer, ' there is not an Irishwoman nor merchant's wife 
throughout the kingdom but refuseth to come to the church, 

1 Summary collection of the state of Ireland by Sir W. Fitzwilliam and 
the Council, Aug. 1594 ; order by Lord Deputy Russell and Council, Aug. 
13 ; Russell to Cecil, Aug. 16 ; Russell's Journal in Carctv, Aug. and Sept. 
O'Sullivan, torn. iii. lib. 2, cap. 11. The Four Masters are somewhat in- 
correct, for Enniskillen was not taken by Maguire till May 1595 ; their 
information fails them for the later months of 1594. 





The Wick- 
low High- 

Death of 



save that in Dublin a few women, under twenty in all, are 
not quite fallen from us.' 1 

When the Christmas festivities were over, during which 
the Earl of Kildare tilted at the ring, Russell went into the 
Wicklow mountains and returned on the third day. Feagh 
MacHugh was driven from Ballinacor and the house garrisoned, 
O'Byrne himself, with his wife and the notorious bastard Geral- 
dine, Walter Reagh, being proclaimed traitors. Some heads 
were brought in, but after a few days Walter Reagh's brother, 
Gerald, was out with his followers and burned the village of 
Crumlin, not three miles from St. James's gate. The lead was 
stripped from the church, and carried off to make bullets. 
The Lord Deputy appeared in Thomas Street, had the gate 
opened, and sent horse in pursuit, but the mischief was already 
done. As such insolence could not be allowed to pass, another 
journey was immediately undertaken, and a camp was formed 
at Ballinacor. A fort was built, and there was no difficulty in 
getting a hundred labourers from among the O'Byrnes. But 
Feagh had plenty of sympathisers. In one place a girl warned 
six kernes of the approach of soldiers; in another a bag of bullets 
was found newly cast. Heads came in fast, but straggling 
foragers from Russell's camp were sometimes cut off. Ormonde 
came up from Kilkenny with a large force, and it became 
evident that Walter Reagh's career was near its end. One 
of his brothers was taken by the Kavanaghs, the Gerald who 
burned Crumlin was killed, and he himself was wounded in 
attacking the house of Sir Piers Fitzjames Fitzgerald, who 
was sheriff of Kildare and Ormonde's kinsman. His leg being 
almost broken by the blow of a hammer, he was carried by his 
followers to a cave, and there attended by a native leech, ' who 
went every second day to the woods to gather herbs.' With 

1 Russell's Journal in Carew, Sept. to Dec. 1594 ; the Queen to the 
Lord Deputy and Council, and a separate letter to Russell, Oct. 31. A 
paper containing ' presumptions ' against Tyrone's loyalty belongs to the 
latter month of 1594, and the writer, who is evidently well informed, 
does not specify any actual communication between Tyrone and Spain. 
O'Sullivan says O'Donnell sent Archbishop O'Hely to Spain immediately 
after the loss of Enniskillen in February (torn. iii. lib. 2, cap. 8), and this 
is confirmed by Walter Reagh's examination, April 9, 1595, who said 
O'Hely had gone to Spain long before. 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 247 

the help of this leech Walter's first cousin. Dermot Mac- CITAI-. 

Phelim Reagh, betrayed him to Sir Henry Harrington, and > ' '* 

promised also to give up Feagh MacHugh himself. Another 
O'Byrne, Miirrogh MacTeig Oge, is also mentioned as being 
in the plot. Walter Reagh was brought to Dublin, examined, 
and hanged alive in chains for twenty-four hours, ' as a 
notable example of justice.' This was Russell's opinion, but 
it must be evident that such barbarity could have no real effect, 
and in fact the Wicklow rebels were soon as strong as ever. 1 

No sooner was Walter Reagh dead than Russell set out Fea^i 
again for the disturbed districts of Leinster. A camp formed o'Bvme. * 
at Money, between Tullow and Shillelagh, was the Lord 
Deputy's headquarters for three weeks, and he visited all 
the country round, finding time for a little hunting and 
fishing, and receiving heads of prisoners almost daily. Several 
companies scoured the Wicklow mountains, but never quite 
succeeded in catching Feagh MacHugh. But his wife, the 
famous Rice O'Toole, fell into Harrington's hands, and a 
Dublin jury found her guilty of treason. The sentence was 
death by burning, as if she was considered a witch, but the 
Queerf spared her life. The arrival of Sir John Norris re- 
quired Russell's presence in Dublin, preparatory to dealing 
seriously with Tyrone. Sir Henry had already brought 
rather more than 2,000 of the Brittany veterans, and the 
news of their coming kept the North quiet for a moment. 
Garrisons were left to bridle Wicklow, and it was supposed 
that the fort at Ballinacor could easily hold out. But Feagh Interfer- 
MacHugh had now a thorough understanding with Tyrone, 'Tyrone in 
who had promised him 1,000 men 400 from himself, 400 L ' einste * 
from O'Donnell, and 100 each from Maguire and O'Rourke. 
The MacMahons had also promised a hundred. These were 
to be maintained for a year, doubtless with some of the 
Spanish gold which was circulating in Ulster. 2 

1 Rnsssell to Burghley and to the Privy Council, April 8, 1595 ; Lord 
Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, April 10 ; Sir H. Harrington to 
Burghley, April 10; Russell's Journal in Carerv, Jan. 16, 1595, to April 
10, on which day Walter Reagh was hanged. Four Masters, 1595 ; 
O'Sullivan, torn. iii. lib. 2, cap. 9. 

2 Examination of Walter Reagh, April 9, 1595, by which it appears 




for the 
Irish ser- 


A con- 

How the 
horse were 

We are now entering upon the great Tyrone war, which 
cost Queen Elizabeth so many men and so much money. 
The trained troops at her command were very few, and fresh 
levies were constantly required. From what took place in 
one county, we may judge of the method pursued all over 
England, and gain some idea of the drain upon the scanty 
population of that time. Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, a great 
figure among the nobility of that day, was Lord Lieutenant 
of Derbyshire. In March, 1595, he was directed by warrant 
to make a compulsory levy of 100 men for the Irish service. 
This was done, and the new company assigned to Captain 
Nicholas Merriman, the captain and his two subalterns being 
appointed by the Crown, and not by Lord Shrewsbury, who 
thought some men were pressed ' rather for ill will than for 
any care of the Queen's service ' ; nor is the suggestion sin- 
gular in the correspondence of this period. In the same year 
Derbyshire had to raise three horsemen for the Irish service, 
and the cost was compulsorily divided among the gentlemen 
and freeholders. John Manners of Haddon was assessed at 
53s. 4d., while some had to pay only six shillings. In 1596, 
fifty more men were raised for Ireland. Directions are some- 
times given that the arms and uniforms should be bought of 
particular persons. Captain Merriman, who was a skilled 
veteran, commended the armour supplied by Mr. William 
Grosvenor, of Bellport, who was a friend of Shrewsbury, and 
a ' follower of the Earl of Essex.' In April, 1597, twenty-three 
men were pressed for Ireland ; four of them ran away, and the 
arms of those who did not were so bad that the officers had 
to buy others from the armourers at Chester. In 1598, 100 
men were first levied, and after the disaster at Blackwater 
fifty more were wanted. These levies were not completed till 
the spring of 1599 ; but in 1600 the demands began again. 
One hundred and fifty were required, but some ran away, and 
some were inefficient, and there was a further call for fifteen 
men before the year was out. John Manners was also ordered 

Tyrone was intriguing with Feagh early in March ; Russell's Journal in 
Caretv, April and May ; Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, 
April 10. 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 249 

to provide one light horseman, with a cuirass and staff, at his 
own charge, and the county was forced to have carpenters, 
smiths, and bricklayers among the recruits. In 1601, three 
horsemen and 110 footmen were raised, and there was a 
further levy of horse ordered as soon as it was known that 
Spaniards had landed at Kinsale. About 70 gentlemen and 
ladies are mentioned as specially contributory to this last 
call, and again John Manners had to supply a gelding with 
a good saddle, and a good man to fill it, ' furnished with a 
good cuirass and a caske, a northern staff, a good long pistol, 
a good sword and dagger, and a horseman's coat of good cloth.' 
Clothing for foot soldiers was contracted for at 40s. a 
head. After the victory at Kinsale, we read of no more 
levies in Derbyshire, but the drain had been severe. Of foot- 
soldiers alone, some 450 were raised in that single county, 
from 1595 to 1601, and we may be sure that most of them 
never returned. Naturally the service was very unpopular ; rjnpopu- 
1 Better be hanged at home than die like dogs in Ireland ' had ^servic 
become a Cheshire proverb. Sometimes it was necessary to 
' set sufficient watch in all the highways, footpaths, and bye- 
lanes, for the apprehending of such soldiers as shall offer 
to escape before God sends a wind.' And it is not difficult 
to see how Shakespeare made the study for his immortal 
picture of the ragged regiment with whom Falstaff refused to A ragged 
march through Coventry. 'You appointed twelve shires,' 
said the Mayor of Bristol, ' to send men here for Cork. We 
protest unto your lordships, excepting of some two or three 
shires, there was never man beheld such strange creatures 
brought to any muster. They are most of them either old, 
lame, diseased, boys, or common Rodys ; few of them have 
any clothes, small, weak, starved bodies, taken up in fair, 
market, and highway, to supply the place of better men kept 
at home. If there be any of them better than the rest we 
find they have been set forth for malice. . . . We have done 
what we could to put able men into silly creatures' places, 
but in such sort that they cannot start nor run away.' 1 

1 The details about Derbyshire are from the Bclvoir MSS. in the 
appendix to the 12th report of the Historical MSS. Commission, vol. i. 




But if the Irish service was odious and terrible to the 
poor conscript, adventurous young gentlemen sought therein 
the means of retrieving their fortunes and of getting out 
of scrapes. ' There is,' says one such, ' nothing under the 
elements permanent. Yesternight I lived with such delight 
in my bosom, concealing it, that I was for this voyage, that 
the overmuch heat is now cooled by a storm, and my prayer 
must be to send better times and fortunes than always to 
live a poor base justice, recreating myself in sending rogues 
to the gallows.' The veterans who had fought and bled in 
many lands were not anxious to have their places filled by 
lads, who were brave enough doubtless, but who had every- 
thing to learn. Complaints upon this subject are frequent, 
but no one has told his story better than Captain Bostock, 
who, having served for eighteen years by "sea and land, 
thought he was entitled to some reward. Bostock was at 
the siege of Antwerp in 1582, and remained long in the 
Netherlands, wherever hard knocks were going. Then he 
commanded a ship commissioned by Henry of Navarre. 
Afterwards he was in the Netherlands again, under Russell 
and Vere, and with Lord Willoughby at the siege of Bergen. 
Then he commanded her Majesty's pinnace ' Merlin ' in 
Portugal, returned to Holland, and served under Essex all 
the time that he was in France. His next venture was in 
command of a man-of-war to the West Indies. Then there 
was more fighting in the Netherlands, and under Fitzwilliam 

pp. 326-381 ; Mayor of Barnstaple to Cecil, Aug. 24, 1602 ; Mayor of Chester, 
Sept. 14 and Oct. 22 and 24, 1602; Mayor of Bristol to the Privy 
Council, May 29, 1602. The letters from these mayors are all at Hat- 
field. On Sept. 18, 1595, Burghley tells his son Robert that he knows 
how to provide horse for Ireland at the expense of the clergy, and this 
levy was made ; Hugh Bellott, Bishop of Chester, to Burghley, March 13, 
1596. Commissary Peter Proby writes to Burghley from Chester on April 
10, 1696, that the recruits malingered and threw away arms and clothes 
rather than sail, and that it might be necessary to send them on board 
pinioned. There are many details about recruiting for Ireland in Peck's 
Desiderata Curwsa. In 1584 the Queen ordered some recusants, who pro- 
fessed themselves loyal in all but religion, to furnish certain men, or 23 1. 
in lieu of each man. If they obeyed cheerfully, she said, she might per- 
haps qualify some part of the extremity that otherwise the law doth lay 
upon them.' 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 251 

and Russell in Ireland. In the voyage to the Azores Bostock CHAP. 


was captain of a man-of-war, and ' fought with a carrack , 1- 

every day for twenty days.' Then he served under Essex 
at sea and in Ireland, and at the end of it all found that he 
had spent 1,OOOZ. of his patrimony, and was still without 
recognised rank. 'A soldier that is no captain,' he says, 
' is more to be esteemed than a captain that is no soldier ; 
the one is made in an hour, and the other not in many years, 
of both which kinds I know many.' l 

Russell had asked for a good officer to help him, but, to Sir John / 
his great disgust, the Government sent him a general with 
absolute authority. A commission, indeed, was to be issued 
by the Lord Deputy and Council, and for this Russell ex- 
pressed his thanks ; but the terms of it were dictated by the 
Queen, who fixed upon Sir John Norris as the fittest man for 
the place. Norris was still Lord President of Munster, but the 
administration of that province was left to his brother, and he 
was put over all the forces in Ireland, with almost unlimited 
authority, for the purpose of pacifying Ulster. His promises 
of pardon or protection were to be performed as a matter of 
course by the Lord Deputy and Council. The fame of Norris 
was deservedly great, and it seems to have been thought, as 
it has sometimes been thought in our own time, that the 
mere terror of his name would save the cost of an army. 
But he was under no such illusion himself, and complained Norris and 
before he left England that Russell was hostile to him. He RusselL 
was in bad health too, and declared that but for that he would 
post back from Bristol and refute the detractors who began 
to buzz as soon as his back was turned. The servile herd of 
courtiers well knew that abuse of Sir John Norris sounded 
sweet in the Earl of Essex's ears. The favourite had inter- Essex 
fered in the appointment of officers, and was told that the 
general had accused him of passing over the best men. This 
Norris denied, declaring that he had always tried to be the 

1 George Manners to his father (John Manners) and to Edward 
Whittock in Belvoir Papers, May 15 and June 27, 1GOO ; Captain Ralph 
Bostock to Cecil, 1600, MS. Hatficld. 





Arrival of 

The Irish 

Earl's friend, and wondering why the latter would always 
treat him as an enemy. 1 

Norris landed at Waterford on May 4, after a bad passage, 
which brought on the ague to which he was subject. He 
found the season so late that there was no likelihood of much 
grass before June, and in any case he was unable to ride for 
some days. Russell civilly begged that he would take his 
time, and he did not reach Dublin until four weeks after 
leaving Bristol. While riding near the city his horse fell 
with him, and this accident brought on a fresh attack of 
ague. But he saw enough in a very few days to make him 
realise that the struggle before him was very different from 
any that had preceded it, The rebels were more in number 
and better armed than of old, and they had plenty of ammu- 
nition. Spanish gold found its way from Tyrone to some 
gentlemen of the Pale, and something like a panic prevailed. 
Two thousand good soldiers had hesitated to march ten 
miles by a tolerable road from Newry to Dundalk, and had 
clamoured to be sent by water. The like had never been 
heard of before, and both gentlemen and townsmen for the 
first time refused even to pass the doors of a church. 2 

While Russell waited at Dublin for Norris, Maguire 
regained possesion of Enniskillen. The garrison had been 
reduced by sickness to fourteen, who were promised their 
lives ; but the English account says the promise was not kept. 
Monaghan was also threatened, and 1,400 foot and 200 horse 
were sent to Newry. With this force Bagenal succeeded in 
victualling the place, but Tyrone greatly harassed the army on 
its return, killing over thirty and wounding over a hundred ; 
ten barrels of powder were expended and many horses lost. 
It was said that the Irish engaged were more than 5,000, and 
that twice or even three times that number were in the neigh- 

1 Sir John Norris to Cecil, April 14, 1595, from Rycott ; to Burghley, 
April 29, and to the Privy Council, May 2, from Bristol ; to Cecil, May 3, 
from on board ship ; Russell to Cecil, May 23 ; Essex to Norris and the 
latter's answer, Aug. 13 ; MSS. Hatfield, ending with ' your Lordship's as 
shall be fit for me.' The commission is in Carerc (No. 160). 

2 Russell's Journal in Car en ^ May 1595 ; Norris to Cecil, May 8 ; to 
Burghley and to Cecil, May 29. 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 253 

bourliood. The road between Dundalk and Newry was then CRAP. 

broken up by Tyrone's orders. Russell reported that the . 

powder left in the Master of the Ordnance's hands was less 
than had been burned in this one day's work. 1 

Sir Richard Binghain had lost no opportunity of warning Murder of 
the Government how necessary it was to seize the passage gingham, 
between Ulster and Connaught; he had made preparations 
at Sligo for the occupation of Ballyshannon. His plans were 
frustrated by one of those unexpected acts of treachery in 
which Irish history abounds. The governor of Sligo, under 
him, was his cousin, George Bingham the younger, who seems 
to have depended almost entirely on Irish troops, and espe- 
cially upon his ensign, Ulick Burke, Clanricarde's cousin- 
german and son of that ' Redmond of the besoms,' as he was 
called from his sweeping raids, who had been the actual 
murderer of Sir John Shamrock. George Bingham had 
lately made a descent upon Tory Island, which he plundered, 
and also upon MacSwiney Fanad's village at Rathmullen, 
where he sacked the Carmelite monastery. Ulick Burke was 
left in charge at Sligo, and it seems that he or his Irish 
followers were offended at not receiving their due portion 
of the spoil. Sir Richard Bingham admits that they were The Irish 
badly paid, and that all the mischief came from that. At all seize Sligo - 
events George Bingham and eight Englishmen with him were 
butchered by the treacherous ensign without a word of warn- 
ing. Ulick had been twice saved from hanging by Bingham, 
but he gave the signal by stabbing his preserver with his own 
hand. Sligo, with its guns and stores, was handed over to 
O'Donnell, and Ulick Burke became his constable. ' This,' 
says Sir Richard, c is the worst news ever happened in Con- 
naught in my time.' 2 

1 Russell to Cecil, May 23, 1595; Bagenal to Burghley, May 29; and 
Russell's letter of June 27 ; Report by Lieutenants Tucker and Perkins in 
Carew, June 1. 

2 Bingham to Russell, June 6, 1595 ; O'Sullivan (torn. iii. lib. 3, cap. 3) 
does not seem to see any inconsistency between what he says of the Irish 
soldiers being ' prasdst fraudati,' and of the Englishmen who ' vel occisi, vel 
fugii, salutem petentes devastate religiose domus Carmelitarum poenas sacri- 
legii luerunt. Four Masters, 1595. Many English writers confuse this 



A week after the disaster at Slisro, Norris started for 
Newry, whither Russell followed him five days later with 
2,200 foot and 550 horse. Tyrone and his adherents were 
proclaimed traitors at Dundalk, both in English and Irish. 
The causeway through the Moyry pass had been broken up, 
but no resistance was offered, and a band of pioneers soon 
made it practicable. In the presence of the Lord-Deputy 
Norris disclaimed all power and responsibility, but there was 
no outward breach between them. Russell reached the 
Black water without serious fighting, and pitched his camp 
close to Armagh. The church was fortified and made capable 
of sheltering 200 men, and Tyrone spent his time in burning 
the houses round about and in razing his own castle of Dun- 
gannon. He had intended to make a great stronghold, fortified 
' by the device of a Spaniard that he had with him, but in the 
end employed those masons that were entertained for builders 
up, for pullers down of that his house, and that in so great a 
haste, as the same overnight mustering very stately and high 
in the sight of all our army, the next day by noon it was so 
low that it could scarcely be discerned.' The arrival of 
cannon at Newry had already taught Tyrone that he could 
not defend any castle against a regular army, and he 
A carrison afterwards constantly acted upon that principle. Besides 
atArmagh. ma ], m g Armagh tenable, Russell again relieved Monaghan. 
There was constant skirmishing, which cost a good many men, 
but nothing like a general battle. On his return to Newry 
the Lord-Deputy very early fell into an ambuscade, but no 
one was actually hurt except O'Hanlon, who carried the 
Queen's colours. The Moyry pass was again found unoccupied, 
and a council of war was held at Dundalk. Russell announced 
that he had fulfilled her Majesty's order, and would now leave 
Ulster matters to the general, according to his commission, 
while Bingham should attend to Connaught. Norris said he 
would do his best ; but if his invasion of Tyrone were frus- 
trated by want of provisions, as the Lord-Deputy's had been, 
he trusted it should be without imputation to him. ' And so,' 

George Oge Bingham, who was Sir Richard's cousin, with the elder George, 
who was his brother. 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597, 255 

says the chronicler, ' every man returned well wearied towards CHAP. 
his own dwelling that had any.' ' > , '_, 

During the expedition Russell wrote to say that he agreed strained 
better with Norris than he had at first thought possible, between 
But the general looked at everything upon the darkest side. EuaseH^ 1 
He accused the Lord Deputy of stretching his conscience to 
injure him, of detaining letters so as to deprive him of the 
means of answering them, of making his commission less 
ample than the Queen had ordered ; and he declared, though 
without actually naming Russell, that his letters to Cecil 
and Cecil's to him were certainly opened. He maintained 
that every obstacle was thrown in his way, and that his 
private fortune was spent without increase of honour after 
so many years of service. The means provided were utterly 
inadequate, since even Russell thought more than 3,000 men 
necessary for the Ulster war, and scarcely half the number 
were actually available. ' I wish,' he says, ' it had pleased 
God to appoint me to follow some other more grateful pro- 
fession.' 2 

It was not without many misgivings that the proclamation Ormonde 
against Tyrone was allowed to issue, Burghley dreaming Tyrone, 
^almost to the last moment of a pacification by Ormonde's 
means. But Ormonde himself had already made up his 
mind that Tyrone could not be trusted at all, since he had 
broken his last promises. Nevertheless he went to Dublin, 
and on arriving there found that the humour had changed. 

1 Journal of the late journey by the Lord Deputy from June 18 to July 
17, 1595 ; Russell's Journal in Carew, June and July. The Four Masters 
substantially agree. The proclamation against Tyrone, O'Donnell, O'Rourke, 
Maguire, MacMahon and others is among the State Papers, 'imprinted in 
the cathedral church of the Blessed Trinity, Dublin, by William Kearney, 
printer to the Queen's most excellent Majesty, 1595'; see also Curnn 
under June 28 (which is probably wrong). O'Donnell, ' whose father and 
predecessors have always been loyal,' is represented as Tyrone's dupe, and 
the Queen desires that he should be ' entertained secretly with hope, for 
that we have a disposition to save him.' The English Government had 
now discovered that Tyrone's father was a bastard; it used to be the 
O'Neills who said so. He was proclaimed traitor at Dundalk on June 23, 
and at Newry on the 26th. 

2 Russell to Burghley, July 14, 1595 ; Norris to Burghley, Aug. 1 and 3, 
and to Cecil, July 4 and 20 and Aug. 1. 









No commission came for him, and without one he could 
attempt nothing. His anxiety was lest the Queen should 
think him lukewarm, whereas his greatest wish, though far 
beyond his power, was that Tyrone's and every other traitor's 
head should be at her Majesty's disposal. He rejoiced at the 
appointment of Sir John Norris, and wished the Queen had 
many such to serve her. ' When Tyrone is proclaimed,' he 
said, 'I wish head-money may be promised for him, as I 
did for the Earl of Desmond, and pardon to be given to such 
others of the North as will serve against him. 1 

Bingham came to Dublin to confer with Russell and 
Norris, and the result was to show clearly how much the 
work to be done exceeded the available means. The Governor 
of Connaught said no quiet could be expected in his province 
until the Ulster rebels were stopped at the Erne. Three 
whole counties were in revolt, and Clanricarde's near kinsmen 
had been engaged in the Sligo massacre, although he himself 
was loyal. Russell agreed with Bingham, but the majority of 
the Council were for stumbling along in the old rut. Bingham 
went back to Athlone, expecting nothing but disaster, and 
Norris went to Newry with the certain knowledge that he 
had not men enough to effect anything. First he tried what 
negotiation would do, and Tyrone sent in a signed paper 
which he called a submission. He was heartily sorry for 
his offences, and humbly besought pardon first for himself 
and all the inhabitants of Tyrone, but also for all his adherents 
who would give the same assurances, ' for that since the time 
I was proclaimed there have passed an oath between us to 
hold one course.' This submission was rejected, as it would 
have practically acknowledged Tyrone's local supremacy, and 
of this rejection the Queen quite approved. 

Armagh was victualled without much trouble by Norris 
in person, and the army then returned to Newry for more 
provisions. Bagenal succeeded in surprising 2,000 of the 
enemy's cows, and Armagh was again reached without fight- 
ing. Some days were spent in fortifying and in making 

1 Ormonde to Burghley, April 3, 1595, in answer to his letter of March 
21, also April 7. Some drafts of the proclamation are as early as April 10. 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 257 

arrangements for a winter garrison, but Norris failed to CHAP. 
bring on a general engagement. Tyrone kept to his vantage- >. , '_. 
ground, but made a great effort to annoy the English at a little 
pass which cannot be far from Markethill. The baggage was 
sent on in front and escaped, but the rearguard had to fight 
their best. There were Scots with Tyrone whose arrows 
proved very effective, and the Irish horse were much more 
active than the English. Norris himself was shot in the *his 
arm and side, and his horse was hit in four places. His 
brother Thomas was shot through the thigh, and Captain 
Wingfield through the elbow. ' I have a lady's hurt,' said 
Sir John ; ' I pray, brother, make the place good if you love 
me, and I will new horse myself and return presently ; and 
I pray charge home.' Two other officers were killed with 
ten men, and about thirty men were wounded. It does not 
appear that Tyrone's losses were much greater, and it was 
evident that nothing of moment could be done with the forces 
at hand. Norris told Russell that he ought to send him 
every man he could scrape together, regular or irregular, 
leaving pioneers and carriers to follow as they might ; and 
that, if this were not done, he would not be responsible for 
anything. He sent his brother Henry straight to England, 
complaining that he had but 150 draught horses, when 
formerly ten times that number came out of the Pale, and 
that he was not properly supported in any way. And yet 
Russell may have done his best. He did detach Thomond 
with five companies and 145 horse to Newry, besides sending 
Secretary Fenton to help the wounded general in administra- 
tive work. But to get supplies from the unwilling Catholics 
of the Pale was beyond his power. The gentry had promised 
to muster 1,000 foot and 300 horse at Kells for the defence 
of the border, but a month after the trysting-day only one- 
third of that number had arrived. 1 

1 The fight in which Norris was wounded took place on Sept. 4, 159.5. 
O'Sullivan says it was at ' Pratura Fontis ' or Clontubrid near Monaghan, 
but that is certainly wrong. Bagenal, who was closely engaged himself, 
writing to Burghley on Sept. 9, says ' nine miles from Newry,' on the direct 
road from Armagh. See also Captain F. Stafford's repoit on Sept. 12. There 
is a good account dated Sept. 1G in Payne Collier's Trerelyan Papers, vol. ii. 


CHAP. At the moment of this first fight with Tyrone in his 

XLV . . 

, '_- character of proclaimed traitor, old Tirlogh Luineach died. 

Tjrjoo-h He had already resigned the chiefry, but it now suited his 
O'Xefii Ch successor to drop the mask, and he went at once to Tullahogue 
1595. to be invested. And yet he was quite ready to renounce the 

name of O'Neill four months later, though objecting to take 
Tyrone is an oath on the subject. The annalists say he had been 
O'Neill. appointed heir ' ten years before at the Parliament held in 
Dublin in the name of Queen Elizabeth.' But it is, of course, 
quite untrue that Tyrone was made tanist by Act of Parlia- 
ment, and the Four Masters themselves record that Tirlogh 
had resigned in his favour more than two years before. 
In 1587 it had been intended to make Tirlogh Earl of 
Omagh, and thus to perpetuate the division of Tyrone. The 
old chief had always realised, in a vague way, that an O'Neill 
could not stand alone, and had listened without enthusiasm 
to the bards who called upon him to imitate the legendary 
heroes of his race, and to make himself monarch of Ireland 
in spite of the English. The real effect of his death was to 
make Tyrone chief of Ulster in the popular estimation, as 
he had long been in real power. He also saw that the 
Queen would be too strong for him unless he could make 
foreign alliances, and he strove to excite sympathy abroad 
by appearing as the head of a Catholic confederacy. 1 
Tyrone has Nothing, said the Queen, would more become this base 
with Spain traitor whom she had raised from the dust, than his ' public 
confessing what he knows of any Spanish practices, and his 
abjuration of any manner of hearkening or combining with 
any foreigners a course fit in his offers to be made vulgar 
that in Spain and abroad the hopes of such attempts may be 
extinguished.' Tyrone protested that he never corresponded 
with Spain before August 20 ; but this can hardly be true, 
for in a letter to Don Carlos, written little more than a month 

Tyrone's submission, Aug. 22 ; Norris to Burghley, Aug. 25, and Sept. 8 and 
10 ; to Russell, Sept. 16 ; Russell to Burghley, Sept. 14, and to the Privy 
Council, Sept. 21. 

1 Fmir Masters, 1593 and 1595, with O'Donovan's notes; Morrin's 
Patent Rol t 29 Eliz. ; Philip O'Reilly to Russell, Sept. 14, 1695. 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 259 

after that date, he complained that the King had returned no CHAP. 

answer to frequent previous letters. He begged Philip to r '* 

send 3,000 soldiers, at whose approach all the heretics would 

disappear, and the King Catholic be recognised as the sole 

sovereign of Ireland. Elizabeth shrank from the cost of 

war and from the suffering which it would bring, and Norris 

was ordered to negotiate. A general without an army is not 

usually the most successful of diplomatists, and Sir John had 

no belief in the work. There were, he said, but two courses 

open. One was to give Tyrone a free pardon, mainly on con- Conditions 

dition of his abjuring Spain and the Pope, by which means ^ ^ar* 

these potentates would be alienated from him. If there was 

to be fighting, then he thought it best to leave Connaught 

alone, and confine himself to Ulster. He demanded a separate 

treasurer, as Ormonde had in the Desmond times, 5,000. 

a month for six months, and 2,000. more for fortifications, 

and power to spend the whole as he liked. .With this, but 

not with less, he thought he could post a garrison at Lough 

Foyle, for like every other competent soldier he maintained 

that Tyrone could be bridled only by permanent fortresses. 

The course which seemed easiest and cheapest was taken, and 

the negotiations began without sincerity on Tyrone's part, 

and with a presentiment of failure on that of Norris, who 

thought force the only remedy. 1 

Norris did not himself meet Tyrone, but sent two captains, A truce 
St. Leger and Warren, who made a truce to last until January 1 , Tyrone, 
and for one month longer should the Lord Deputy desire it. 
Peace was to be kept on both sides, but none of the points 
at issue were decided. Tyrone and O'Donnell made separate 
submissions, upon which great stress was laid ; but as they 
were both in correspondence with Spain, it is clear that their 
chief object was to gain time. Tyrone further declared his 
readiness to renounce the title of O'Neill, protesting that he 

1 Privy Council to Russell, Sept. 12, 1595 ; Tyrone and O'Donnell to 
Philip II. and to Don Carlos, Sept. 27. Piers O'Cullen, the priest, on whom 
the letters to Spain were found, broke his neck trying to escape from 
Dublin Castle (Fenton to Burghley, Jan. 12, 1596). Copies of the above 
are in Carem. Norris's letters to Burghley on Sept. 8, 10, and 27, and the 
abstract of his letters sent by Sir Henry, with Burghley 's remarks. 

s 2 





tions with 

had assumed it only to prevent anybody else from doing so. 
Upon these terms, since no better were to be had, the 
Queen was inclined to pardon the chief rebels ; but this only 
encouraged them to make fresh demands. Burghley in the 
meantime was advising that money should be sent into Ireland, 
where he foresaw nothing but trouble. ' I see,' he said, l a 
manifest disjunction between the Lord Deputy and Sir John 
Norris. Sir John was too bold to command the companies 
in the English Pale for Waterford without assenting of the 
Deputy, for out of Munster he hath no sole authority. I fear 
continually evil disasters.' l 

O'Donnell had in the meantime made himself master of a 
great part of Connaught. Bingham failed in a determined 
attempt to retake Sligo, and his nephew, Captain Martin, 
was killed by an Irish dart, which pierced the joint of his 
breastplate as his arm was raised to strike. Russell went to 
Galway, and was received with full military honours ; and at 
first the rebellious Burkes seemed inclined to come to him. 
But O'Donnell entered the province, and persuaded them 
to content themselves with a written submission, accom- 
panied by a statement of their complaints against Bingham. 
They accepted a MacWilliam at the northern chief's hands, 
in the person of Theobald Burke, a young man who had just 
distinguished himself by surprising the castle of Belleek in 
Mayo, and inflicting great loss on a relieving force led by 
Bingham's brother John ; and by Christmas there was no 
county in Connaught, except Clare, in which the inhabitants, 
or great numbers of them, had not united with O'Donnell.' 2 

If a peace could be made on anything like honourable 
terms, Russell was authorised to act without further orders 
from home, and to pardon every rebel who would come 
in and submit himself. Wallop and Gardiner, both of whom 
were thought rather friendly to Tyrone, were sent as com- 

1 Papers in Carem, Sept. 27 to Oct. 28, 1595 ; Burghley to his son 
Robert. Dec. 2, 1595, and Jan. 2, 1596. 

* Four Matters, 1595; Russell's Journal, Nov. and Dec. Writing to 
Cecil on Oct. 22, Norris says the overthrow near Belleek was shameful, 
the Burkes being a ' mean sort of beggars ' and neither Tyrone nor 
O'Donnell near. See also O'Sullivan, torn. iii. lib. 3, cap. 3 and 4. 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 261 

missioners to Dundalk ; but, protection or no protection, CHAP. 

Tyrone refused to enter that town. The commissioners were r-^ ' 

fain to waive the point, and a meeting of five persons on each 
side was held a mile outside. Swords only were worn, and 
the greatest distrust was shown. ' The forces of either side 
stood a quarter of a mile distant from them, and while they 
parleyed on horseback two horsemen of the commissioners 
stood firm in the midway between the Earl's troops and them^ 
and likewise two horsemen of the Earl's was placed between 
them and her Majesty's forces. These scout officers were to 
give warning if any treacherous attempt were made on either 
part.' Tyrone and his brother Cormac, whom the keener 
spirits among the O'Neills made tanist in defiance of the 
Queen's patent, O'Donnell, Maguire, MacMahon, O'Dogherty, 
O'Reilly, and many others, were at the meeting or in the im- 
mediate neighbourhood. The first article of the Irish demand 
was ' free liberty of conscience ' -free liberty of conscience Liberty of 
for those who were anxious to exchange the sovereignty of demanded 
Elizabeth for that of Philip II. Free pardons and restoration 
in blood of all of the northern rebels, the maintenance of 
Tyrone's power over his neighbours, the acknowledgment of 
O'Donnell's claims in Connaught, a pardon for Feagh Mac- 
Hugh, and the non-appointment of sheriffs in Ulster, except 
for Newry and Carrickfergus ; these were the other demands, 
of which they believed the concession would ' draw them to a 
more nearness of loyalty.' They amounted, in truth, to an 
abrogation of the royal authority in nearly all Ulster, and in a 
great part of Connaught. The negotiations following lasted 
eleven days, with growing distrust on both sides, and at last 
a fresh truce was concluded, for February, March, and April. 
The terms, in so far as they differed from the former ones, 
were in favour of Tyrone and O'Donnell. On the very day 
that the truce was concluded, Russell wrote to complain that 
the commissioners were too easy with men who made im- 
moderate demands, contrary to their former submissions; and 
on the next day, as if his words were prophetic, an indignant 
letter came from the Queen, accompanied by a much-needed re- 
mittance of 1 2,000/. She had good reason to complain that the 


CHAP, more inclined to mercy she showed herself the more insolent 

r -^' the rebels became, and was particularly annoyed at the fact 

that the commissioners addressed Tyrone and his associates 

by such titles as ' loving friends,' and ' our very good lord.' ' 

Tyrat^aar ^ anx i us were tne commissioners for peace at any price 

O'Donneii that they withheld the terms on which the Queen was willing 

can be con- * -i i 

ciliated. to pardon the rebels until the truce was safely concluded. 
Nor did they venture to show the actual articles sent from 
England, thinking the chiefs would be less alarmed by con- 
ditions of their own devising. Elizabeth held the language 
of a merciful sovereign, who was ready to pardon rebels, but 
who had their lands and lives at her mercy. Tyrone had 
forfeited his patent and should only receive back portions of 
his estate, while his jurisdiction over his neighbours was 
ousted altogether. He was to give several substantial pledges, 
and to send his eldest son to be educated in England. 
O'Donneii, Maguire, O'Rourke, and the MacMahons were to 
be treated with separately, and in every case members of their 
septs who had not rebelled were to have some of their lands. 
If the Earl held out, efforts were to be made to detach 
O'Donneii from him. All this was inconsistent with what the 
chiefs had demanded from the commissioners ; and the latter 
could only give the Queen's ideas in their own language, 
and solicit observations from the parties concerned. Tyrone 
said he was anxious to send over his son, but that his people 

Their pre- would not allow him, and, indeed, it is likely that he was 
afraid of his brother Cormac's doings as tanist. He had no 
objection to agaol, nor to a sheriff provided that official were 
an inhabitant of Tyrone was ready to renounce the name of 
O'Neill, though not upon oath, arid agreed to give reasonable 
pledges. But he would not consent to a garrison at Armagh, 
insisting that Tyrone and Armagh should be one county ; nor 
would he bind himself, without the consent of his clansmen, 
to pay a fine in support of the garrisons at Monaghan, Black- 
water, and Newry. O'Donneii was even less accommodating, 
ironically offering to build a gaol in Donegal, whenever he 

1 The negotiations are detailed in the Carew papers for January 1596, 
and in Russell's Journal ; and see Cecil to Russell, March 9. 

GOVERNMENT OF BUSSELL, 1594-1597. 263 

agreed to receive a sheriff there. He claimed the county of ^\\^' 

Sligo as his own, and maintained that O'Dogherty held all , 

his territory of him. Having received these answers, the 
commissioners returned to Dublin, and when Gardiner went 
thence to England, the Queen for some time refused to see him. 1 
Russell's journey to Galway had resulted in a truce, but 
there was no peace in Connaught. Bingham managed to Confusion 
victual Ballymote across the Curlew mountains, but not naught, 
without the help of three veteran companies, who did all 
the fighting and lost five officers and fifty men. Boyle 
and Athlone were threatened, while a MacDermot and an 
O'Connor Roe were set up, as well as a MacWilliam. At 
last the Burkes, aided by a party of Scots, having done what 
damage they could on the Galway side of the Shannon, crossed 
the river and began to harry the King's County. The Lord 
Deputy started without delay, was joined by O'Molloy and 
MacCoghlan, and fell upon the intruders at daybreak. A 
hundred and forty were killed or drowned in trying to es- 
cape, and Russell then turned to the castle of Cloghan, which 
was strongly held by the O'Maddens. ' Not if you were all 
Deputies,' they replied, on being summoned to surrender, 
and added that the tables would probably be turned on the 
morrow. Russell humanely proposed that the women should 
be sent out, but the O'Maddens refused. Next morning a 
soldier contrived to throw a firebrand on to the thatched roof, 
which blazed up at once. A brisk fusillade was directed upon 
the battlements, and another fire was lit at the gate, while the 
assailants made a breach in the wall. Forty-six persons were 
cut down, smothered, or thrown over the walls, while two 
women and a boy were saved. The Scots who came over the 
Shannon had been reported as 400, and Russell made a good 
deal of his success ; but Norris reduced the number of strangers 
to forty, and spoke with contempt of the whole affair. 2 

1 Articles sent from England, Sept. 28, 1595; Articles propounded by 
the Commissioners, Jan. 28-30, 1596, both in Carere ; Cecil to Russell, 
March 9. 

2 Russell's Journal for March 1596, mentions 300 or 400 Scots. Tribes 
and Cmtoms of Hy Many, p. 149. Norris's letter of March 20 gives some 
details, and also Fenton's to Cecil of same date. 


CHAP. When the Queen at last consented to hear Chief Justice 


r- ' ' Gardiner's account of his proceedings in the North, she ex- 

The Queen pressed great displeasure. The demand for liberty of con- 
of con- Fty science, she said, was a mere pretext, the result of disloyal 
science. conspiracy, and put forward as an excuse for past rebellion 
more than from any desire to do better in future. Tyrone 
and the rest had no persecutor to complain of, and what they 
asked was in reality ' liberty to break laws, which her Majesty 
will never grant to any subject of any degree ' a pronounce- 
ment which might well have been quoted by the foes of the 
dispensing power ninety years later. And, as if it were 
intended to strike Russell obliquely, a new commission was 
More nego- ordered to be issued to Norris and Fenton. They were to 
)ns * meet the rebels during the truce, and to ' proceed with them 
to some final end, either according to their submissions to 
yield them pardons, with such conditions as are contained in 
our instructions ; or if they shall refuse the reasonable offers 
therein contained, or seek former delays, to leave any further 
treaty with them.' And at the same time there was to be a 
general inquiiy into all alleged malpractices in government 
which might cause men to rebel. Some of the directions to 
the new commissioners were rather puzzling ; but the Lord 
Deputy and Council refused to suggest any explanation, for 
that they were ' left no authority to add, diminish, or alter.' 

Russell indeed gave out that he would go to the North 
himself, and Norris was in despair. ' The mere bruit,' he says, 
will cross us, and I am sure to meet as many other blocks in 
my way as any invention can find out. I know the Deputy 
will not spare to do anything that might bring me in disgrace, 
and remove me from troubling his conscience here.' Russell, 
on the other hand, complained that Burghley was his enemy 
and sought out all his faults. ' I wish,' said the old Trea3urer, 
' they did not deserve to be sought out.' l 
Captain Tyrone must have been an agreeable, or at least a persua- 


' The Queen to the Lord Deputy and Council, March 9, 1596 ; Instruc- 
tions for the Commissioners, March 11 ; Burghley to his son Robert, March 
30 (in Wright's Elizabeth) ; Norris to Cecil, March 23, and Fenton to Cecil, 
April 10. 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 265 

sive man, for lie often made friends of those Englishmen who 
came under his personal influence. Such a one was Captain 
Thomas Lee, who at this juncture made an effort in his favour ; 
laying that he would be loyal ' if drawn apart from these rogues 
that he is now persuaded by.' He would go to England or to 
the Deputy if he had a safe-conduct straight from the Queen, 
and Essex and Buckhurst might write to him for his better 
assurance, since he believed Burghley to be his bitter enemy. 
Lee confessed that he had not seen Tyrone for some time, and 
that he founded his opinion upon old conversations ; but he 
was ready to stake his credit, and begged to be employed 
against the Earl should he fail to justify such an estimate. 
For having ventured to address the Queen when in England 
without first consulting Burghley, Lee humbly apologised, 
and hinted, perhaps not very diplomatically, that a contrary 
course might have preserved the peace. The Cecils had little 
faith in Lee's plausibilities, and it was reserved for Essex to 
employ him as a serious political agent. 1 

Fenton foresaw that Tyrone and O'Donnell would probably Norris and 
' stand upon their barbarous custom to commune with us in ^Dun- 
the wild fields.' And so it proved. They refused to come dalk- 
into any town, and proposed a meeting-place near Dundalk, 
with a river, a thicket, and a high mountain close at hand. 
This was rejected, and they then suggested that the com- 
missioners should come on to the outer arch of a broken 
bridge, and back across the water, while they themselves 
stayed on dry land. This was considered undignified, and 
indeed the proposal looks like studied impertinence ; and in 
the end it was decided that Captains St. Leger and Warren 
should act as intermediaries. Tyrone at once waived the 
claim to liberty of conscience, ' save only that he will not ap- 
prehend any spiritual man that cometh into the country for 
his conscience' sake.' While protesting against the continu- 
ance of a garrison at Armagh, he agreed not to interrupt the 

1 Captain Thomas Lee to Burghley, April 1, 1596; Cecil to Russell, 
July 10, 'Captain Lee doth pretend he could do much, &c.' Lee went to 
Tyrone accordingly, but did nothing. His Geraldine neighbours seem to 
have taken this opportunity of burning a village belonging to him. 




A hollow 



on Norris. 

communications, and in the end he received a pardon upon 
the basis of the existing state of affairs. The gaol and 
the shrievalty were left in abeyance during the stay of the 
garrison ; but the Queen made no objection to Armagh and 
Tyrone being treated as one county, or to the demand that 
the sheriff should be a native. The Earl disclaimed all autho- 
rity to the east of the Bann and of Lough Neogh, and, while 
renouncing foreign aid, promised to declare how far he had 
dealt with any foreigner. He refused to give up one of his sons, 
but surrendered his nephew and another O'Neill as pledges, 
on condition that they should be exchanged at the end of 
three months. The Queen, upon whom the cost of the great 
Cadiz expedition weighed heavily, professed herself satisfied 
except on one point. Tyrone had promised some time before 
to pay a fine either of 20,OOOZ. or of 20,000 cows, but he now 
maintained that the figure had been mentioned for show, and 
that it was an understood thing that it should not really be 
paid. The promise had been made to Russell, and Norris 
had left the matter in doubt. But it must be acknowledged 
that the Lord Deputy saw the real state of the case more 
clearly than his sovereign, and he maintained that the rebels 
were only gaining time till help came from Spain, and that 
Norris was overreached by ' these knaves.' The peace was 
a feigned one, the pledges were of no account, and there was 
no safety for the English in Ireland but in keeping up the 

Tyrone and O'Donnell had not met the commissioners at 
all, and O'Rourke had run away immediately after signing the 
articles. On the other hand, Norris and Fenton could report 
that Maguire, with several chiefs of scarcely less importance, 
had come into Dundalk and made humble submission on 
their knees. Russell acknowledged that the Queen was put 
to great expense in Ireland, and that there was very little to 
show for it, ' which,' he urged, ' is not to be laid to my charge, 
but unto his who being sent specially to manage the war, and 
for that cause remaining here about a twelvemonth, hath in 
that time spent nine months at the least in cessations and 
treaties of peace, either by his own device contrary to my 

GOVERNMENT OF EUSSELL, 1594-1597. 267 

liking, as ever doubting the end would prove but treacherous, CHAP. 
or else by directions from thence.' l * 

Captain Warren remained with Tyrone for a month after Story of the 
the departure of Norris and Fenton for Dundalk. He then letter, 
brought with him to Dublin a letter from Philip II. to the ,; 
Earl, encouraging him to persevere in his valiant and vic- 
torious defence of the Catholic cause against the English. 
Warren promised, and his servant swore, that the letter should 
be returned or burned without any copy being taken. Tyrone 
at first vehemently refused to produce it at all, but at last 
agreed that the Lord Deputy should see it on these terms. 
Russell at once proposed to keep the document, and the 
Council supported him ; only Norris and Fenton voting 
against this manifest breach of faith. The Lord Deputy had 
been blamed for not detaining Tyrone when he might per- 
haps have done so honourably, and now he was determined 
not to err in the direction of over-scrupulousness. Warren 
was naturally indignant at being forced to surrender what he 
had promised to keep safely, and the official excuses were of 
the weakest. The Earl was thanked for giving such a proof 
of his sincerity, and urged to say what verbal messages the 
Spanish bearer had brought from so notorious an enemy to 
her Majesty as the King of Spain. 

Tyrone retorted that Warren had produced an undertaking, 
under the hands of the Lord Deputy and Council, to perform 
whatever he promised, and that they had broken his word 
and their own, ' wherein,' he said, ' if I be honourably and 
well dealt with, I shall refer myself to the answer of her 
most excellent Majesty.' 

The whole proceeding was as useless as it was discredit- 

1 The effect of her Majesty's pleasure with Tyrone's answer, April 12, 
1596 ; Fenton to Cecil, April 10, and Norris and Fenton to the Privy 
Council, April 23 ; Russell to Burghley, April 27 ; the Queen to the Lord 
Deputy and Council, May 25 ; Russell to the Queen, May 16 and June 30, 
MSS. Hatjifild. Writing to Russell on Nov. 22, 1595, Tyrone promised to 
levy a fine of 20,000 cows on himself and his allies ; the Government had 
demanded 20,0002. Tyrone's pardon (see Morrin's Patent Polls) is dated 
May 12, 159(5, and he received it a few weeks later. It included the Earl's 
relations and all the inhabitants of Tyrone, his astute secretary, Henry 
Hovenden, being included by name. 



in Ulster. 

in Con- 

able, for the letter was quite short, and Norris, after once 
hearing it read, was able to repeat all that it contained. 
O'Donnell, who was even more determined than Tyrone upon 
the plan of war to the knife with Spanish aid, wrote to say 
that he wished for peace, but could not restrain his men, and 
that he would give no pledge, ' inasmuch as Captain Warren 
performed not his promise in not returning the letter he took 
with him to Dublin upon his word and credit.' l 

It was not likely that Tyrone would tell the Government 
what passed between him and the Spanish messenger Alonso 
de Cobos ; for he took care to see him in the presence only of 
those he most trusted, such as his brother Cormac, his secre- 
tary Henry Hovenden, O'Donnell, and O'Dogherty. The 
Spanish ship put into Killybegs, where munitions were landed 
for O'Donnell, but De Cobos came forty miles by land to see 
Tyrone. An interpreter was necessarily employed, and he 
told all he knew. Cormac dictated a letter in Irish, reminding 
the King that he had begun the war, gloating over his suc- 
cesses, and promising wonders if Philip would give him 500 
men in pay. The Pope sent beads, stones, and relics, which the 
interpreter saw, and also an indulgence for flesh every day 
in war time. The northern Irish, he observed, had but lately 
taken to fish, butter, and eggs on Fridays and Saturdays. 
Cormac himself told him that he expected the Spaniards 
very soon. 2 

Immediately after the receipt of the Spanish letter Norris 
and Fenton set out for Connaught. Tyrone himself had 
pointed out that the two northern provinces hung together, 

1 Philip II. to Tyrone, Jan. 22, 1596, N.S.; Norris to Cecil, June 1 
(the Spanish letter was produced in Council, May 31) ; Lord Deputy and 
Council to Tyrone, June 1 ; Russell to Burghley, June 2 ; Tyrone to the 
Lord Deputy and Council, June 11 ; O'Donnell to Norris, June 26, and 
another undated one of the same month. We know from Henry Hovenden's 
letter to Tyrone on June 27 (in Carem) that the latter had advised 
O'Donnell to 'take hold of Captain Warren's dealing, &c.' 

* Rice ap Hugh to Russell, May 18 ; John Morgan to Russell, May 21 ; 
Information of George Carwill taken at Newry on June 21. Tyrone met 
the Spaniard at Lifford. Writing to Norris on May 6, Tyrone and O'Donnell 
say they told the Spanish gentleman that they had been received to their 
Prince's favour and would have no foreign aid. 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 269 

and the understanding between the western and northern 

chiefs was at this time pretty close. The Burkes insisted 

that all their quarrel was with Bingham and his kinsfolk only, 

and Norris was ready to believe the charges against him of 

injustice in his government, and of seizing the lands of those 

who opposed him. Of Bingham's severity there can be little 

doubt ; but he had ruled cheaply and successfully, and it was 

not his fault if O'Donnell's road into Connaught was still 

open. In August 1595 the hostages in Galway gaol knocked 

off their irons after a drinking-bout, and passed through the 

open gate of the town. They found the bridge held against 

them, and on trying to cross the river they were intercepted 

by the soldiers on the other bank. All who escaped instant 

death were recaptured. Bingham sent a warrant to hang all His 

the prisoners who had taken part in the attempt, and hanged sevent y > 

they accordingly were Burkes, O'Connors, and O'Flaherties 

from the best houses in Connaught. To mutinous soldiers 

Bingham showed as little mercy. Some recruits in Captain 

Conway's company made a disturbance at Roscommon, and 

Bingham ordered that the mutineers should be brought to the 

gallows, as if for execution, and then spared. This was done, 

but next day things were worse than ever, and a ringleader, 

named Colton, threatened Con way and took the colour from 

his ensign's hand. Captain Mostyn, whose company was 

also tainted, was knocked down, and the mutiny was not 

quelled until over thirty men were hurt. Bingham hanged 

Colton promptly, and most soldiers will think that he did 

right. But Norris had made up his mind that Connaught \ 

could be pacified by gentle means, and his hand was heavy 

against Bingham, especially as Russell seemed inclined to Norris and 

shield him. Sir Richard, on the contrary, pleaded that all Bin s ham - 

his arguments had been overruled in Dublin, that he had not 

been allowed to defend his province for fear of hindering the 

negotiations in Ulster, and that the reinforcements sent to 

him were a ' poor, ragged sort of raw men.' Everything had 

turned out as he foretold, and he had never asked for money 

from Dublin until the neglect of his warnings had encouraged 

a general revolt. O'Donnell had exacted 1,200Z. sterling 





from the county of Sligo since the castle there was betrayed, 
and his brother plundered Cotniaught with a rabble of Scots, 
while he himself helped to amuse the commissioners at 
Dundalk ' I think,' he said, ' this is partly scarcity of meat 
at home, the people of the North being always very needy 
and hungry.' The Irish Council, he declared, wished to draw 
all eyes upon Connaught so as to hide their own failures ; and 
as for his provincials they had a thousand times better treat- 
ment than they deserved, for their real object was to re-establish 
tanistry and its attendant barbarism. 1 

Finding the Lord General favourable to them, the Mayo 
Burkes plied him hard with charges against Bingham ' and his 
most cruel and ungodly brother John.' They had seized most 
of the cattle, it was urged, upon various pretences, and in 
three years had become possessed of many castles and of 200 
ploughlands, offering no title ' but a high gallows to the pos- 
sessor.' ' Her Majesty's clemency,' they said, ' is better known 
to strange nations than to us her poor misers, being altogether 
racked and governed by the Binghams, the dregs of all iniquity, 
here in culd mundi far from God and our sovereign.' 

Bingham came to Dublin, and both he and Norris, who 
agreed in nothing else, were loud in their complaints of official 
inaction. He strongly maintained, and he certainly was right, 
that the Queen's true policy was to separate the two rebellious 
provinces and not to include them in the same treaty. The 
Dundalk articles now made it impossible to garrison Ballyshan- 
non, and Sligo was the next best thing. The Connaught rebels, 
he said, ' will seek to retain their titles of Macs and O's with 
their unhonest law, even as Ulster does.' But Norris was 
probably right in believing that there would be no peace 
between Bingham and the Burkes, since they were ' so 
much embrued in each other's blood ; ' and when he went to 
Connaught the accused governor was detained in Dublin by 

1 Four Masters, 1595 ; Captains Con way and Mostyn to the Privy 
Council, April 12, 1596; Norris to Cecil, April 23 and 25; Bingham to 
Burghley, April 22. Norris says that Russell, though really hostile to 
Bingham, tried to prevent inquiries, in order to keep him (Norris) out of 
Connaught and leave the government there to a tool of his own. 



Russell, lest the sight of him should hinder the negotiations CHAP. 
at Galway or Athlone. Bingham took care to remind Burghley ' \ ' 
that the composition was better both for Crown and subject 
than anything yet devised, ' for the Irish lord is the greatest 
tyrant living, and taketh more regality by the tanist law than 
her Majesty doth, or ever did, by her princely prerogative.' 

The summer passed in futile diplomacy, while O'Donnell wll 

J ' . Ireland 

lived upon the western province and spared his own country, suddenij- 
' If Bingham,' said the Queen, ' appear guilty, he shall be 
removed ; but we must not condemn a governor unheard and 
without good proof.' Tired of waiting, the suspected chief 
commissioner left Ireland without leave, on September 25, 
and on his arrival in London was committed to the Fleet. 1 

It suited the Queen to take an optimistic view of the Catholic 
situation, but the confederacy against her was spreading gra- federacy, 
dually over all Ireland. The Connaught rebels put Norris 
off from month to month and from week to week, while 
the Ulster chiefs used the respite afforded them to draw in 
Munster, with which the Clan Sheehy, the old Desmond 
gallowglasses, gave a ready means of communication. Tyrone 
had just received full pardon, yet he wrote as follows : 

' We have given oath and vow that whosoever of the 
Irishry, especially of the gentlemen of Munster, or whosoever 
else, from the highest to the lowest, shall assist Christ's 
Catholic religion, and join in confederacy and make war with 
us .... we will be to them a back or stay, warrant or 
surety, for their so aiding of God's just cause, and by our said 
oath and vow, never to conclude peace or war with the 
English, for ourselves or any of us, during our life, but that 
the like shall be concluded for you, &c.' 

Many of the scattered settlers in Munster were murdered 
about this time, and it was upon the property of Englishmen 
only that the MacSheehys and other robbers maintained 
themselves. In Tipperary, says the Chief Justice of Munster, 
there was ' a school of thieving of horses and cows where boys 

1 Norris to Burghley, May 4 (with enclosure), and May 16, 1596; 
Russell to Burghley, May 16 and June 9; Bingham to Burghley, May 18 
and June 11. Bingham came to Dublin on May 8. 



and general 

on English 

from every Minister county, some the bastard sons of the best 
of the country,' were trained in this patriotic exercise. The 
master and usher and seven of their pupils were tried and 
hanged. Care was taken that Protestant clergymen should 
not go scathless. One James, parson of Kilcornan near 
Pallaskenry, was visited by a party of swordsmen, but they 
were under protection and he unsuspectingly offered them 
refreshments. Nevertheless they murdered poor James, 
wounded three other Englishmen, and burned down the house ; 
the leader swearing upon his target that he would never again 
seek protection, nor ' leave any Englishman's house unburned 
nor himself alive.' The same spirit was shown in the inland 
parts of Leinster, where Owen MacRory O'More was specially 
protected by Russell's order ; but this did not prevent him 
from making a perfectly unprovoked attack upon Stradbally. 
Alexander Cosby, whose father had been slain at Glenmalure 
and who was himself married to a Sidney, sallied out with his 
two sons and the kerne under his orders. A fight took place 
on the bridge and the Irish were driven off, but Cosby and 
his eldest son fell. Dorcas Sidney ('for she would never 
allow herself to be called Cosby ') and her daughter-in-law 
watched the fight out of a window and saw their husbands 
killed. In southern Leinster the death of Walter Reagh 
had not quite destroyed the old Geraldine leaven, and some of 
the Butlers were also engaged, greatly to Ormonde's indigna- 
tion. Whatever Tyrone's own ideas were about religion, it 
is quite evident that out of his own district he was regarded 
as the leader of a crusade. The new English in Ireland were 
Protestants, and the instinctive horror of the natives for 
settlers whose notions about land were irreconcilable with 
their own was sedulously encouraged by priests and friars. 1 

1 Translation of Irish letter signed O'Neill (not Tyrone), O'Donnell, 
O'Rourke, and Theobald Burke (MacWilliam), July 6, 1596 ; Chief Justice 
Saxey's advertisements, January 1597, in Carew ; Russell's Journal, 1596; 
Joshua Aylmer to Sir J. Norris, April 26, 1596 ; William Cosby to Russell, 
May 19, 1596, and an interesting note in O'Donovan's Four Masters ; see 
also ' Report concerning O'Donnell's purposes ' to Russell by Gillaboy 
O'Flanagan (long prisoner with O'Donnell) May 12; 'Words spoken by 
MacDonnell' (chief of Tyrone's gallowglasses) to Baron Elliott, June 15; 

GOVERNMENT OF RUSSELL, 1594-1597. 273 

Elizabeth persisted in believing Tyrone's professions, only CHAP. 
because she saw no way of forcibly subduing ' him whom 

she had raised from the dust.' She was ' greedy,' said her 
secretary, ' of that honourable course ' ; but Russell, who advo- 
cated the reduction of Tyrone, forgot to say how it was to be sive > 
done. It was more clear to her that there was much oppres- 
sion and extortion, and that her poor subjects in Ireland 
had a right to complain. The intolerable tyranny of sheriffs, 
provost-marshals, and other officers was the constant com- 
plaint from Ulster and Connaught ; but those provinces were 
confessedly in a state of armed peace at best, and much 
might be said upon both sides. In Leinster and Munster the 
charges were more definite, and are more easily understood. 
They may be summed up in a declaration on the part of 
the inhabitants of the Pale that ' the course of ranging and 
extorting is become so common and gainful as that many 
soldiers (as is said) have no other entertainment for their 
captains ; and many that are not soldiers, pretending to be of 
some company or other, have, in like outrageous sort, ranged 
up and down the country, spoiling and robbing the subjects 
as if they were rebels. And most certain it is that the rebels 
themselves, pretending to be soldiers, and knowing how 
gainful the course is, have often played the like parts.' 

Real soldiers were so terrible that the poor people had . , 
no heart to resist even sham ones, and so the country went 
from bad to worse. The very fruit trees were cut down 
to feed barrack fires, and houses, if the wretched inmates 
deserted them to avoid their oppressors, were demolished for 
the same purpose. Very severe orders were issued, rape and 
theft being made capital offences, and these were not suffered 
to remain a dead letter ; but the next Viceroy did not find 
that matters had been much improved. In Munster also 
there was plenty of military violence, and even lawyers, while 
complaining that the gown was quite subordinate to the 
sword, could not but acknowledge that sheriffs and gaolers 

Edmond and Edward Nugent to Russell, June 20; and ' Occurrents in 
Wexford,' June 2(5. As to Spanish and papal designs on Ireland about this 
time see Birch's, ii. l.">3, 177, 180. 






*- . 

owing to 

is hunted 

were as bad as the soldiers. It is easy to see, and it is 
proved by a cloud of witnesses, that most of these horrors 
were caused by irregular payment of the troops, nor does 
Burghley himself leave us in any doubt. ' I cannot,' he 
says, ' forbear to express the grief I have to think of the 
dangerous estate of her Majesty's army in Ireland, where all 
the treasure sent in August is expended.' Besides pensioners 
and supernumeraries, there were 7,000 regular soldiers, for 
which the monthly charge was 8,560Z. sterling, which necessary 
reinforcements would soon increase to 10,422. ' for which the 
treasurer hath never a penny in Ireland.' And it was certain 
that the increase would be progressive. ' What danger this 
may be I do tremble to utter, considering they will force the 
country with all manner of oppressions, and thereby the 
multitude of the Queen's loyal subjects in the English Pale 
tempted to rebel.' l 

In November, 1595, Feagh MacHugh came to Dublin and 
submitted on his knees: The Queen was inclined to pardon 
him, but his terms were not at first considered reasonable. 
If confirmed in his chiefry, he professed himself ready to 
restrain his people, to attend assizes like other gentlemen, and 
to kneel before the Queen herself, ' which I more desire than 
anything in the world.' Even this rough mountaineer, who 
pointed out to Elizabeth that his property was not worth con- 
fiscating, had caught the prevailing tone of flattery. Never- 
theless Feagh remained in close alliance with Tyrone, and 
in September 1596 he struck a blow which undid most of 
Russell's work in Leinster. Elizabeth had in the end agreed 
to pardon him, with his wife, sons, and followers, to confirm 
him in his chiefry by patent, and even to restore Ballinacor, 
which she found a very expensive possession. Eight days 
after this was decided at Greenwich, Feagh wrote to Tyrone, 
offering to trouble the English well, and begging for a com- 
pany of good shot ; and a month later he surprised Ballinacor. 

1 Burghley to his son Robert, Oct. 31, 1596, in Wright's Elizabeth; 
Orders for the soldiers, April 18, 1596; Declaration of the state of the 
Pale, June 1597, and Chief Justice Saxey's declaration already quoted, all 
in Carew. The Four Masters absurdly say that Norris had 20,000 men with 
him in Connaujjht this year. 


After this there was no further talk of pardon, and Russell CHAP. 

pursued the old chief to the death. A new fort was built at ',- -'' 

Rathdrum, and Captain Lee, who was perhaps anxious to 
efface the memory of his ill-success with Tyrone, scoured the 
mountains during the winter. Cattle by the score and heads 
by the dozen were collected, and the end may as well be told 
at once. One Sunday morning in the following May Feagh killed, 
was forced into a cave, ' where one Milborne, sergeant to 
Captain Lee, first lighted on him, and the fury of our soldiers 
was so great as he could not be brought away alive ; there- 
upon the said sergeant cut off Feagh's head with his own 
sword and presented his head to my lord, which with his beheaded, 
carcase was brought to Dublin. . . . the people all the way 
met my- lord with great joy and gladness, and bestowed many 
blessings on him for performing so good a deed, and delivering 
them from their long oppressions.' The head and quarters of 
this formidable marauder were exhibited upon Dublin Castle, 
and a sympathiser says the sight pierced his soul with anguish. 
Four months after, one Lane brought what purported to be 
the head to Essex, who sent him to Cecil for his reward. 
Cecil said head-money had already been paid in Ireland, and 
Lane gave the now worthless trophy to a lad to bury, who 
stuck it in a tree in Enfield chase, where it was found by two 
boys looking for their cattle. The Four Masters say Feagh 
was ' treacherously betrayed by his relatives,' for the O'Byrnes 
of the elder branch had never acquiesced in the dominion of 
the Gaval-Rannall. Thus one by one did the chiefs of tribal 
Ireland devour each other. 1 

Norris remained in Connaught from the beginning of Complete 

. . failure of 

June until the week before Christmas, and renton was with Norris iu 
him most of the time. Nothing of any importance was done, naught, 
and when their backs were turned O'Donnell entered the 
province and the rebellion blazed up more fiercely than ever. 
The Burkes and their immediate allies had 2,000 men, be- 

1 Four Masters, 1597. For the Enfield head see the examination of 
John Dewrance before Richard Chandler, J. P. for Middlesex, Sept. 21, 
1597, MS. Hatjield ; Russell's Journal, and the letters in Carew for August, 
September, and December, 1596. Feagh was killed May 8, 1597 ; see also 
his own letter to Burghlcy, April 25, 159G. 

T 2 


CHAP, sides the help of O'Donnell, Tyrone, and Maguire, and it 

, '_^ was reckoned that an army of more than 3,000 was required 

for Connaught alone. Bingham's ideas about cutting it off 
from Ulster by garrisons on the Erne were fully adopted, and 
the possession of Ballyshannon becomes henceforth a main 
object with successive governments. Yet Bingham himself 
was in disgrace, and Sir Conyers Clifford, a distinguished 
soldier whose Cadiz laurels were still green, was made go- 
vernor in his room. The Irish annalists tell us that he was 
a much better man than his predecessor, but such praise 
did not make his work any easier. That Bingham was severe 
and even harsh is certain, that he was sometimes unjust is 
at least probable, and there is no reason to doubt that he was 
greedy about land ; but he was efficient, and in the eyes of 
Irish chiefs and of their panegyrists that was the really un- 
pardonable sin. 1 

Dissension < I am quite tired,' says Camden, ' with pursuing Tyrone 

Rutland through all his shifts and devices.' He had received his 
pardon in the early summer, and had spent the rest of the 
year in trying to forfeit it. Russell was not deceived, and 
he asked to be recalled, complaining bitterly that he was not 
credited, while Norris was ' authorised to proceed in a course 
of pacification which, in the opinion of the Deputy and most 
part of the Council, did tend directly to her Majesty's dis- 
advantage, and the gaining of time to the said rebels,' who 
were on the look-out for help from Spain. In the meantime 
there was no lack of pretexts on either side for imputing bad 
faith to the other. Frontier garrisons were always involved 
in disputes, and blood was sometimes shed. As the winter 
advanced Tyrone became bolder, and at last tried to surprise 
the Armagh garrison, whose communications he had been 
threatening for some time, although he had specially covenanted 
not to do so. Marauding bands entered the Pale, and at 
Carlingford, though they failed to capture the castle, they 
carried off Captain Henshaw's daughters, 'the one married 
and the other a maid,' as prisoners to the mountains. Tyrone 

1 Russell's Journal ; Declaration by the Lord Deputy and Council (in- 
cluding Norris and Fenton) in Carew, No, 261, soon after Christmas 1596. 

GOVERNMENT OF EUSSELL, 1594-1597. 277 

was himself present at the Armagh affair, where thirty-five CHAP. 

soldiers were killed, but he pleaded that promise had not been r ' 

kept with him, and that soldiers had committed outrages. 
He had even the impudence to pretend that the prosecution 
of Feagh MacHugh was such a breach of faith, though Feagh 
had not been included in the Dundalk treaty, and though he 
had attacked Ballinacor while his pardon was in preparation. 
Being threatened with the execution of hostages and with a 
new proclamation of treason, which would annul the pardon, 
the Earl thought it safer to yield for the time. At Christmas of which 

TV rone 

he threatened Newry with 5,000 men, but on the arrival of takes ad- 
Norris there, he allowed Armagh to be revictualled. Tyrone 
quite understood that there was great jealousy between Russell 
and Norris, and he endeavoured to play off one against the 
other. Sir John constantly complained that the Lord-Deputy 
thwarted him in every possible way, and the latter as con- 
stantly denied the charge with much indignation ; but 
he showed some rather small spite in refusing to allow 
Norris to send letters by his messengers. This division of 
authority could scarcely work well, and in the autumn of 
1596 it was proposed to recall both rivals and to send Lord 
Burgh over with supreme authority ; but the project was 
allowed to sleep for some months. 1 

As soon as Armagh had been victualled, the negotiations More nego- 
tiations ; 

1 Calendar of S. P. Domestic, Sept. 30 and Dec. 22, 1596 ; Letters in Carero 
from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9. On Aug. 10 Tyrone wrote to Russell that he was 
surprised at his reasonable offer of peace not being accepted ; this was a 
month after his incendiary letter to the Munster chiefs. Russell answered 
that peace with his sovereign was a ' proud word,' and that he was sent to 
' cherish the dutiful and correct the lewd, of which number thou art the 
ringleader .... thy popish shavelings shall not absolve thee ' (MSS. Lans- 
dotvne, vol. Ixxxiv). Petition of Sir W. Russell in Caretv, 15.96, No. 253. As 
to the letters see Burghley to his son Robert, March 30, 1596, in Wright's 
Elizabeth and elsewhere. On Oct. 22, 1596, Anthony Bacon wrote to his 
mother ' that from Ireland there were cross advertisements from the Lord 
Deputy on the one side, and Sir John Norris on the other, the first as a 
good trumpet, sounding continually the alarm against the enemy, the 
latter serving as a treble viol to invite to dance and be merry upon false 
hopes of a hollow peace, and that these opposite accounts made many fear 
rather the ruin than the reformation of the State, upon that infallible 
ground, quod o nine regnum dimsum in se diS'-ipa'bitur; which sums up the 
situation very well.- -Birch's Memoirs, ii. 180. 


but the 
patience is 
nearly ex- 

Bingham is 
in disgrace. 

began again. If Tyrone could complain that his hostages had 
not been exchanged according to the Dundalk articles, 
Norris and Fenton could reply that he had never given his 
eldest son according to promise. Once he appeared in person, 
and, with hat in hand, made his accustomed professions of 
loyalty. The latest communications with Spain had been 
O'Donnell's offer, and not his ; but he had not again rejected 
Philip's overtures because the English had not kept their 
promises to him. He said he had written three letters to 
Spain ; but he knew that these had been intercepted, and he 
forgot that he had alluded in them to many previous appeals. 
He altogether denied that he had incited Munster men to 
rebel, but he did not know that his letter sent by the Mac- 
Sheehys had also been intercepted. Nevertheless Elizabeth 
was still ready to treat, but she told the Commissioners that 
her patience was nearly exhausted and that she was preparing 
for war. They accordingly fixed April 16 as the last day of 
grace, but Tyrone refused to come. He said that Norris 
might be overruled by Russell, who showed malice to him, 
and moreover Lord Burgh, about whom he knew nothing, was 
coming over as Deputy, who might not be as good to him as 
the Lord General had been. Finally, he suggested April 26 
for a meeting, but this was treated as a mere evasion, and 
Norris returned to Dublin. Hostilities were, nevertheless, 
suspended throughout May and June, during which interval 
the change of viceroys was effected. 1 

Sir Richard Bingham lay more than two months in prison, 
and was then released on account of ill-health, although still 
considered under arrest. It was decided that he should re- 
turn to Ireland, and the Queen refused to give him an audi- 
ence. The charges of the Burkes against him and his were 
ordered to be tried at Athlone, before Norris, Fenton, and two 
other councillors. Clifford was to be present, though only 
as a spectator. Ill as he was, Bingham embarked, but was 
driven back, and had to recruit his strength by staying at 
Beaumaris. It became unnecessai'y that he should go at all, 

1 These abortive negotiations are pretty fully detailed in Fynes 
Moryson's Itinerary, part ii. book i. ch. i. under 1596; Russell's Journal. 



for news came that the peacemaking of Sir John Norris, 
whom he calls his ' most intollerablest ' persecutor, had quite 
failed, and that Sir Conyers Clifford was going to govern a 
province whose condition grew daily worse. O'Donnell 
entered Connaught as usual through Leitrim, and, accom- 
panied by his MacWilliam, plundered O'Connor Sligo's 
adherents, and reached Athenry, which was carried by 
escalade. The place was laid in ashes, and the people left 
houseless and naked. The invaders 3,000 foot and 200 
horse then went to Galway ; but here they could do no 
more than burn some of the suburbs, ' for a great piece of 
ordnance scattered them, and, clustering again, another 
greater piece was let fly, which utterly daunted them.' The 
rebels threatened Galway with the fate of Athenry as soon 
as the Spaniards came, and then proceeded to ravage the 
open country. Clanricarde's castles were not attacked, but 
throughout the north-eastern part of the county there was 
scarcely a cottage, a stack, or a barn left unburned, and a 
vast booty was carried off into Donegal. ' We bear the same,' 
said Clanricarde, ' most contentedly, for our most gracious 
Princess, from whom we will never swerve for any losses or 
afflictions whatsoever.' Kells was burned at the same time 
by the O'Reillys, and everyone who knew the country saw 
that worse was coming. ' It was plain,' said Bingham, ' that 
his removal would not quiet Connaught, nor any other altera- 
tion in government there, but rather the expelling of all the 
English, which is generally required throughout Ireland.' l 

1 Clanricarde to Russell, Jan. 15, 1597 ; Oliver French, mayor of Gal- 
way, to Russell, Jan. 19 ; Bingham to Sir R. Gardiner, Jan. 20 and 27. 
These four letters are printed in Wright's Elizabeth. Russell's Journal ; 
Four Masters, 1596 and 1597 ; the Queen to the Lord Deputy and Council, 
Dec. 4, 1596, in Morrin's Patent Rolls, under 39 Eliz. : ' As to the proceed- 
ing for the examination of the complaint against Bingham and the trial 
thereof, we think it meet that, after the complaints shall be made privy of 
our hard usage of him here, and the remitting of him to be tried in Con- 
naught, &c.' 





Last acts 
of Russell. 

ment of 



THE destruction of Feagh MacHugh enabled Russell to 
leave Ireland without discredit, but the latter days of his 
government were darkened by a disaster of a very unusual 
kind. One hundred and forty barrels of powder which had 
been drawn from the quay to Wine-tavern Street exploded, 
accidentally as was supposed, and there was a great destruction 
of life and property. Men were blown bodily over the house- 
tops, and among the dead were many ' sons of gentlemen 
who had come from all parts of Ireland to be educated in 
the city.' 

The Queen had for some time made up her mind to entrust 
the civil and military government of Ireland to Thomas, Lord 
Burgh, though Burghley wished to leave Norris at the head 
of the army. Considered as general there could be no com- 
parison between the two men ; but it is absurd to say, as so 
many have said, that Burgh was totally ignorant of military 
matters. He was governor of Brill, and had fought in the 
Zutphen campaign, where he distinguished himself by gal- 
lantry of a rather headlong kind. But he was chiefly known 
as a diplomatist, and the fact that he was, or had been, a man 
of fortune may have weighed with the frugal Queen. Russell, 
who expected his recall daily, retired from Dublin Castle to a 
small house, and put his train upon board wages; but he 
need have been in no hurry, for his successor's appointment 
hung fire. 

' The Queen,' says a well-informed news-writer, ' hastens 
the Lord Burgh's despatch, but by-and-by it is forgotten ; it 
lives some day or two, and lies a-dying twenty days. Many 
will not believe it till they see him go ; but it is very certain 
that nobody gives it furtherance but the Queen's own resolu- 


tion ; and his standing upon an imprest of 3,OOOZ. and a house CHAP. 
furnished makes her Majesty let it fall.' l . ' 

The financial question was settled at last, Lord Burgh re- Arrival of 
ceiving 1,200/. for immediate needs. He carried 24,OOOZ. to ' 

Ireland with him, and was allowed to retain the governorship 
of Brill. His health was bad, but he did not let this delay 
him. ' I am,' he told Cecil, ' cut all over my legs with the 
lancet, and have abidden loathsome worms to suck my flesh.' 
He could not wish even his enemies to feel such anguish. But 
he managed to take leave of the Queen in spite of his swollen 
legs, and a week after the leeching, he travelled as far as 
St. Albans, accompanied by Raleigh, Southampton, and other 
distinguished men. On the morning of his departure, he 
went to see Essex at Barnes, and the Earl brought him back 
to London in his coach. At Stony Stratford he opened his 
instructions, and found, to his great chagrin, that one article 
had been added to those which he had already seen. The 
Queen had been dishonoured, she said, by the facility with 
which knigthood had been bestowed, and he was forbidden to 
give it ' to any but such as shall be, both of blood and live- 
lihood, sufficient to maintain that calling, except at some 
notable day of service to bestow it for reward upon some such 
as in the field have extraordinarily deserved it.' 

He was thoroughly alive to the difficulties awaiting him 
in Ireland difficulties which had been aggravated by the 
delay in despatching him, and now he was deprived of the 
means of rewarding his friends, and made to seem less trust- 
worthy than his predecessors. He was in Dublin on the 
twelfth day after leaving London, and found nothing there to 
his liking. Almost all supplies were wanting, the number of 
effective soldiers was much below what it should have been, 
and the horses were too weak for active service. 2 

It was known that Norris, who had been on bad terms 

1 Sir T. Wilkes to Sir Robert Sidney, Jan. 17, 1597 ; Rowland Whyte 
to same, Feb. 21, March 4, April 13, in Sidney Papers, vol. ii. ; Motley's 
United Netherlands, ch. ix. The explosion of powder was on March 13, and 
is recorded by the Four Masters and in Russell's Journal. 

2 Rowland Whyte to Sir R. Sidney in Sidney Papers, May 4. 1597 ; 
Lord Burgh to Cecil, April 26 and May 4, MSri. Hatjield, and to Burghley, 
May 23. R. 0. Burgh left London May 3, and reached Dublin on the 15th. 




Burgh and 
ft orris. 



with Lord Burgh in England, resented his appointment, 
which Essex may have promoted for that very reason, and 
it was 'supposed that he would submit to his authority 
grudgingly and of necessity, or not at all. But the general 
came to Dublin four days after the new Lord Deputy's arrival, 
and the latter saw no reason to complain. ' Sir John Norris 
and I,' he wrote to Cecil, ' have in public council and private 
conferences agreed well. I think you wrote to him to become 
compatible.' Writing on the same day, Norris says nothing 
against Burgh, but shows some apprehension that Russell 
would be his enemy, and notes that both he and the Council 
had stated openly, in the new Lord Deputy's presence, that 
there was no charge against him. But a newswriter in 
London, who retailed the Court gossip, talks of a solemn 
pacification between Norris and Burgh, ' made with much 
counterfeit kindness on both sides.' The general then 
returned to his province of Munster, begging to be recalled, 
and protesting at the same time that ill-health and not 
ill-temper had made him weary of the service. It may have 
been the reason why this greatest soldier of his age and 
country had of late constantly preferred negotiation to war. 
Russell was already gone, and on his arrival in London found 
that the Queen was too angry to see him, the world at the 
same time noticing that he was ' very fat, both in body and 
purse.' Lord Burgh threw all his energies into military 
organisation, and complained that his brains were tired by 
captains who expected to find a city of London in Dublin. 
Almost everything was wanting, and the general misery, he 
told Cecil, ' lamentable to hear as I am sure in your ears, but 
woeful to behold to Christian eyes. I see soldiers, citizens, 
villagers, and all sorts of people daily perish through famine ; 
meat failing the man of war makes him savage, so as the 
end is both spoiler and spoiled are in like calamity.' 1 

Tyrone, with 800 foot and 80 horse, was encamped 

He suffered from a wound or hurt received in Holland in 1595, see his 
letter to Essex of Aug. 27, and that year in Birch's Memoirs, i. 285. 

1 Russell's Journal in Carew, May 1597 ; Chamberlain's Letters, June 1 1 ; 
Burgh to Cecil, May 24 and June 12 ; Norris to Cecil, May 24 and June 10; 
Russell to the Privy Council, June 25, MS. Hatjield. 


between ISTewry and Armagh, and Captain Turner was ordered CHAP. 

to attack him suddenly. The surprise was almost, but not . '-* 

quite, complete, and the rebel Earl escaped through a bog 

on foot and with the loss of his hat. ' I trust,' said Turner, 

' it presages his head against the next time.' Armagh was 

revictualled, and the Irish withdrew beyond the Blackwater. 

Early in July Burgh was able to advance to Armagh, whence 

he surveyed the famous ford which had given so much trouble. 

It was defended on the north side by a high bank and deep 

ditch manned by about forty men, and Tyrone, whose camp 

was near, thought it could not be carried until he had time 

to come up. Burgh saw that a surprise was his only chance, 

and, though some said he was no general, he was at least 

soldier enough to observe that the shape of the ground would 

shelter his men while they were in the water. Choosing out crosses the 


1,200 foot and 300 horse, he started at daybreak and at once wa ter, 
undertook the passage. His men wavered, but he led them 
on himself, and they swarmed over the breastwork before any 
reinforcements could arrive. The defenders ran away, and 
Tyrone hanged a score of them. Burgh's success, which was 
a great one, seems to have been entirely due to his personal 
gallantry. Next day Tyrone made a strenuous effort to re- 
gain the position, and half-surprised the army, who were 
assembled ' to hear a sermon and pray to God.' Good watch 
was, however, kept, and the assailants were beaten back. 
The soldiers fell in rather confusedly, and in pursuing their 
advantage went too far into the woods. Burgh gave special 
orders to avoid all chance of an ambuscade, but there were 
many volunteers whose discipline was of the slightest. Some 
were relatives of his own, and all served out of friendship or 
for the fun of the thing. The horse became entangled in the 
woods ; Turner and Sir Francis Vaughan, the Lord Deputy's 
brother-in-law, were killed, and two of his nephews wounded. 
Again he had himself to come to the rescue, rallied the soldiers, and 
and finally repulsed the Irish with loss. He felt he might be * 
accused of rashness and of exposing himself; but his excuse 
was ready. ' I have not,' he said, ' that wherein my Lord of 
Essex is and all generals be in a journey happy, scarcely any 



plan of 

of such understanding as to do what they be bidden ; as he 
hath many : when I direct, for want of others I must execute.' * 

As soon as the news reached England Essex said that 
the extirpation of Tyrone would be easy work. Russell had 
ended well, Burgh had begun well, and Ireland was im- 
proving. But Feagh MacHugh's sons were as bad as their 
father, and Tyrone's power was destined to outlast both 
the life and the reputation of Essex. The Queen was much 
pleased, and upon the sore question of knighthood yielded so 
far as to say that she would sanction any reasonable list that 
the Lord Deputy might send over. At first she had com- 
plained of his rashness, but had satisfied herself that he had 
done rightly, only reminding him that he was a deputy, and 
that hazarding his person unduly was like hazarding her 
own. In seeking help from Spain Tyrone claimed a victory, 
and made much of having killed the Lord Deputy's brother- 
in-law, but he could not prevent the English from building 
a fort at Blackwater. It was entrusted to Captain Thomas 
Williams, who had served most of the princes of Christen- 
dom for twenty-three years, and who proved himself a hero 
indeed. 2 

Lord Burgh's plan was that Sir Conyers Clifford should 
invade Tyrconnell from Connaught, while he himself was at 
the Blackwater, but the latter found it impossible to be ready 
in time. Thomond and Inchiquin, Clanricarde and Dun- 
kellin, O'Connor Sligo, and many others obeyed his summons ; 
his object being to take and garrison Bally shannon, which 
was now recognised as the key of Connaught and Ulster. 
O'Donnell made great efforts to prevent this, but Clifford 
crossed the Erne on July 29, about half a mile below Belleek, 
not without severe fighting. Lord Inchiquin and O'Connor 
Sligo vied with each other who should be the first over, and 
the former, who wore a cuirass, received a bullet under one 

1 Captain Richard Turner (sergeant-major) to Essex, June 14 ; Lord 
Burgh to Cecil, received July 28. Several other letters are printed in the 
Hist. MSS., Ireland, part iv. 1, appx. 12. 

2 Essex to the Queen (July) in Calendar of S. P. Domestic ; Cecil to 
Burgh (end of July) ; Tyrone to the King of Spain (not before August) 
1597, in Caren; No. 275. 


arm which went out at the other. He fell from his horse, and 

perished in the waters. His body was carried to Assaroe and - , L- 
honourably buried by the Cistercians there, but was claimed 
by the Franciscans of Donegal, on the ground that his O'Brien 
ancestors had long been buried in a friary of their order in 
Clare. The dispute was referred by O'Donnell to the same 
bishop, Redmond O'Gallagher, who had befriended Captain 
Cuellar in the Armada days, and to Nial O'Boyle, bishop of 
Eaphoe. The decision was in favour of the Franciscans, and 
this loyal O'Brien rested among the O'Donnells, for whose 
overthrow he had fought so well. 1 

Four guns were brought from Galway and landed near the Clifford 
castle of Ballyshannon, which was defended by a garrison of Bally- 
eighty men, of whom some were Spaniards, and commanded s annon 
by a Scotchman named Crawford. After three days' cannonade, 
ammunition began to run short, and little impression had 
been made on the castle, while O'Donnell's force grew stronger 
every day. Clifford's position was now very precarious, for 
the fords were held behind him, and all communications in- 
terrupted. He attempted to re-embark his ordnance, but the 
gyn broke, and he had to leave three out of four pieces behind 
him. Just above the fall of the Erne a passage, called by the 
Irish the ' ford of heroes,' was left unguarded, probably on 
account of its difficulty, and at daybreak Clifford, who had 
spent the hours of darkness in making his arrangements, 
waded the river unperceived by the Irish. Many were swept 
over the fall and out to sea, but the main body struggled over 
and formed upon the left bank. The O'Donnells pursued but has to 
without stopping to put on their clothes, and there was a retreat 
running fight for some fifteen miles ; but Clifford reached 
Drumcliff in Sligo without much further loss. The English 
had no powder and were completely outnumbered, but torrents 
of rain fell and wetted the ammunition of their foes. Maguire 
and O'Rourke were both with O'Donnell in this affair. Clif- 
ford marched on foot in the rear, and indeed personal bravery 
was the only soldierly quality that could be shown. His 

1 Four Masters, 1597 ; Clifford to Burgh, Aug. 9. This Lord Inchiquin 
(Murrogh, 4th Baron) =erved in Perrott's Parliament. 





defence of 
the new 


ablest officer denied that forty years' service in the best Euro- 
pean army could teach a man anything useful for Irish war- 
fare. The service was barbarous and hateful, and he begged 
to be put into some other war, for in Connaught nothing was 
to be got or learned. 1 

After his successful journey to the Blackwater, Burgh 
remained some weeks in the field, and during that time he 
vainly endeavoured to come to terms with Tyrone. The latter 
refused to give the pledge demanded, and while declaring 
that he was reasonable and that his conscience was dis- 
charged, talked of making peace with the Queen as if he had 
been an independent sovereign. In the meantime he was 
earnestly soliciting help from Spain, and the death of Lord 
Kildare was one success of which he boasted. That Earl was, 
however, not wounded at all, though some say that the loss of 
two foster brothers in the late fight had preyed upon his mind. 
Burgh now declared that his patience was exhausted, and 
went back to Dublin to make preparations for a further inva- 
sion of Ulster. ' All your popish shaven priests,' he wrote to 
Tyrone, ' shall never absolve you, God destroying the counsels 
of the wicked against his anointed.' 2 

When Burgh had left Armagh, and Clifford had been 
driven from Ballyshannon, brave Captain Williams had a 
hard time at Blackwater. Tyrone found it impossible to 
prevent supplies from entering the ruined city, although he 
could and did surround the outpost completely ; but when 
an escalade was attempted, the stout soldier within was more 
than able to hold his own. The storming party were picked 
men, who received the Sacrament and were sworn not to 
abandon their task till they had carried the fort, but they lost all 
their ladders and afterwards owned to 400 killed and wounded. 
Three days later Burgh left Dublin to relieve the beleaguered 
garrison, and reached Armagh without opposition. He perhaps 

1 Four Masters, 1597 ; O'Sullivan Bere ; Clifford to Burgh, Aug. 9 ; Sir 
Calisthenes Brooke to Cecil, Aug. 13. As was more fully proved in 1689, the 
possessors of Enniskillen and of the Erne from Belleek to Ballyshannon, 
about four miles, held the keys of the partition between Ulster and Con- 

- Tyrone to Burgh, Aug. 10, 15'.)", and the answer, Aug. 1C. 


hoped to surprise some of Tyrone's people, but met none until CHAP. 

he came near the Blackwater, which he passed after a sharp , 

skirmish. His intention was to advance to Dungannon, or 
perhaps to establish an advanced post there, but he was taken 
suddenly ill. The fort was victualled and relieved, and the 
Deputy was carried in a litter to Armagh, and thence to Death of 
Newry, where he died a few days later. He made a will 
in the presence of several witnesses, of whom John Dymmok, 
author of a well-known treatise on Ireland, was one ; but his 
strength failed before he could sign it. Bagenal and Cecil 
were named executors, and all goods he bequeathed to his 
wife, Lady Frances, to do her best for the children ; and for 
her and them he asked the Queen's protection, ' myself having 
spent my patrimony and ended my days in her service.' To 
the Queen he left his garter and George, also his papers, 
and his body to be disposed of as she pleased. The dead 
Deputy's servants ran away, and Bagenal was in some doubt 
as to what he should do ; for no chief governor had died in 
office since Skeffington's time. The body was buried at 
Westminster more than three months later, and Sir Francis 
Vere agreed to pay Lady Burgh 400Z. a year out of his 
salary as governor of Brill. The money was perhaps badly 
paid, for the poor lady was long suppliant to Cecil, and de- 
scribed herself as his ' unfortunate kinswoman.' * 

The death of Lord Burgh was a serious loss to the Queen's Sir John 
service, and it did not come single. Sir John Norris retired tires to**" 
to his province of Munster after conferring with the Lord Munster > 
Deputy, but there is nothing in his letters to show that the 
latter dismissed him in an unfriendly way. There was not 
much love lost between them, perhaps, but there is no evidence 
of anything more than this. Norris went to Waterford and 
Limerick, though every movement hurt him, and he reported 

1 Lord Burgh's will, Oct. 12, 1597 ; Sir H. Bagenal to the Burgh- 
ley, and to Cecil, Oct. 13 ; Rowland Whyte to Sir R. Sidney, Feb. 1, 1598, in 
Sidney Papers; Frances Lady Burgh to Cecil, Jan. 1599 (one of several), 
Hatfeld. For the assault and relief of the fort see Fenton to Cecil, Oct. 5, 
1597 ; Captain Williams to the Privy Council, Nov. 1 ; the Four Masters ; 
Moryson. Burgh died Oct. 1 3, a wrong date being usually given ; he had 
no recent wound apparently. 



and dies 

that Munster was in a very poor state of defence. The 
Queen would not give the necessary funds, and the inhabi- 
tants of the town would do very little for themselves. But 
there was no immediate danger of a Spanish invasion, and he 
begged leave to recruit his health. Afterwards he could return 
to his post, and he was ready to remain at all risks if he could 
do any good. Tyrone wrote to him, but he sent the letter 
unopened to Burgh, apologising even for saving time by occa- 
sionally communicating directly with the English Government. 
He advised that the rebel should be well pressed during the 
summer, in which case many would leave him. ' I am not 
envious,' he said, ' though others shall reap the fruits of my 
travail, an ordinary fortune of mine.' To curry favour with 
Essex some insinuated that the President was shamming 
illness to get out of Ireland, but the event proved that his 
complaints were genuine. Old wounds neglected or unskil- 
fully treated ended in gangrene, and he died at Mallow, 
in the arms of his brother Thomas. The most absurd fables 
were told about his last hours, and an historian gravely 
relates that the enemy of mankind, black and dressed in 
black, appeared to him while playing cards, reminded him 
of an old bargain, and claimed his soul then and there. 
' We may judge,' adds this credulous writer, ' how much God 
helped O'Neill, who had not only often beaten Norris, the 
best of English generals, in battle, but also vanquished the 
devil himself, who is believed to have helped him according 
to contract.' The body was embalmed and taken to England, 
and Elizabeth wrote a beautiful letter of condolence to Lady 
Norris, in which she charged her to bear up for her husband's 
sake, reminding her that her own loss as Queen was scarcely 
less grievous or less bitter than a mother's. 1 

1 Sir John Norris to the Privy Council and to Cecil, June 10, 1597; to 
Burghley, June 2 ; to Cecil, July 20 ; O'Sullivan Bere, torn. iii. lib. iii. 
cap. 10. The Queen's letter of Sept. 22 to Lady Norris, which begins ' My 
own crow,' has been printed by Fuller, Lloyd, and others. Norris died 
before Sept. 9, on which day the Presidency of Munster was placed in 
commission. In an undated letter at Hatfield, which evidently belongs to 
the early part of 1597, Norris begs leave for ' this spring ' before it is too 
late. His lungs were affected, besides the trouble from his wounded leg. 


A vacancy in the chief governorship of Ireland was always 
a cause of weakness, and often of disaster. Discipline was 
relaxed, and enemies of the Government knew how to take 
their advantage. At Carrickfergus, which was an exposed 
place, there had lately been many bickerings among the 
authorities ; insomuch that Captain Rice Maunsell, who com- 
manded the troops, imprisoned Charles Egerton, who was 
constable of the castle. One consequence was that Belfast 
fell into the hands of Shane MacBrian O'Neill, who hanged \ 
and disembowelled every Englishman found therein. Sir 
John Chichester, a younger brother of the more famous 
Sir Arthur, was then appointed to the military command, 
and his first essay was most successful. ' Belfast,' he says, Belfast in 
' is a place which standeth eight miles from Carrickfergus, 
and on the river, where the sea ebbs and flows, so that boats 
may be landed within a butte (musket) shot of the said 
castle ; for the recovery whereof I made choice that it should 
be one of my first works ; and on the eleventh day of July 
following attempted the same with some hundred men, which 
I transported thither in boats by sea ; and indeed our coming 
was so unlocked for by them as it asked us no long time 
before we took the place, without any loss to us, and put 
those we found in it to the sword.' Shane O'Neill's castle of 
Edenduffcarrick was afterwards taken by Chichester, which 
afforded a means of victualling the Blackwater fort by way of 
Lough Neagh. Shane MacBrian and the other O'Neills of his 
sept then went to Dublin and submitted, giving sufficient 
hostages for their good behaviour. 1 

By the death of his elder brothers, Donnell and Alaster, Disaster at 

C* ' I 

James MacSorley had become chief of the Irish MacDonnells. fergus. 
Though unable to speak the Lowland tongue, he had lately 
been knighted by James VI. and received with much dis- 
tinction at court, where his liberality and fine manners made 
him a favourite, and at his departure he was thought worthy 
of a salute from Edinburgh Castle. He and his brother 
Randal soon aroused suspicion at Carrickfergus. They de- 

1 Services of Sir John Chichester and the garrison of Carrickfergus, 
Sept. 16, 1597. 



CHAP, molished their castles at Glenarm and Red Bay, and concen- 
' , ' trated their strength at Dunluce, which they armed with three 

guns taken from the Spanish Armada. These pieces they 
refused to surrender at Chichester's demand, and there were 
also suspicious dealings with Tyrone, whose daughter Randal 
afterwards married. The governor invited the MacDonnells 
to a parley, and they appeared with 600 men about four 
miles from the town. The immediate complaint was that 
they had been plundering in Island Magee. Chichester 
went to meet them, but his men had scarcely recovered from a 
long march two nights before, and much of their powder waa 
still damp. A council of war was held, at which Moses Hill, 
lieutenant of horse and founder of the Downshire family, 
offered to surprise the MacDonnells in their camp if the go- 
vernor could wait till night. This was agreed to, but rasher 
counsels ultimately prevailed. Captain Merriman, who was 
said to have captured 50,000 head of MacDonnell cattle in 
his time, thought it a shame to be braved by such beggars ; 
others thought so too, and Chichester gave way willingly 
enough. As the English advanced the Scots retreated, but 
soon turned on their pursuers, whose ranks were not well 
kept and whose muskets were almost useless. Horse and foot 
were driven back pell-mell towards the town, and Chichester 
was killed by a shot in the head, after being wounded in the 
shoulder and in the leg. Maunsell and other officers also fell, 
and only two seem to have escaped unwounded. About 180 
men were killed out of a force which probably did not exceed 
300. Some saved their lives by swimming over into Island 
Magee, while Captain Constable and others were taken pri- 
soners. The survivors from the battle and the officers who 
had remained in reserve named Egerton their governor and 
expected an attack, but MacDonnell chose rather to appear 
as an aggrieved man who had fought in self-defence. The 
check to the Government was a severe one, and Tyrone was 
greatly strengthened by it. 1 

1 Egerton, North, Charles Maunsell, and Merriman to Lord Justice 
Norris, Nov. 6, 1597, enclosing Lieutenant Harte's account, who was present. 
Other accounts are collected in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. v. 


The Irish Council made Sir Thomas Norris sole Lord CHAP. 


Justice, very much against his will. He had succeeded his \ '> 

brother as Lord President of Munster, and left Captain justices 
Thornton there to do the work, and to draw most of the a PP inted - 
salary. This temporary arrangement was altered by the 
Queen, who appointed Archbishop Loftus and Chief Justice 
Gardiner Lords Justices, gave the supreme military com- 
mand to Ormonde, with the title of Lietenant-General, and 
ordered Norris back to his own province. The appointment 
of Ormonde involved fresh negotiations, and Tyrone was more 
likely to agree with him than with any English Deputy. 
' You now,' the Queen wrote to her general, ' represent our Ormonde 
own person, and have to do with inferior people and base General, 
rebels, to whose submission if we in substance shall be content 
to condescend, we will look to have the same implored in such 
reverend form as becometh our vassals and such heinous 
offenders to use, with bended knees and hearts humbled ; not 
as if one prince did treat with another upon even terms of 
honour or advantage, in using words of peace or war, but of 
rebellion in them, and mercy in us ; for rather than ever it 
shall appear to the world that in any such sort we will give 
way to any of their pride, we will cast off either sense or feel- 
ing of pity or compassion, and upon what price soever prosecute 
them to the last hour.' l 

Tyrone himself sought an interview with Ormonde, and Ormonde's 

f t-'i 
submitted humbly enough to him at Dundalk. ' I do,' t^ati 8 ^ 6 ^ 

he said, ' here acknowledge, upon the knees of my heart, lth 

' 1 yrone, 

that I am sorry for this my late relapse and defection.' He 
begged a truce for two months, and undertook not to prevent 
the Blackwater fort from being victualled in the meantime. 
In the negotiations which followed, ' free liberty of conscience 
for all the inhabitants of Ireland ' was demanded by Tyrone ; 
but while placing this claim in the forefront, he never really 

pp. 188 sqq. See also Gregory's Western Highlands, chap, vi., where James 
MacSorley is called ' Dunluce,' as if that had been a Scotch lairdship. 
Chichester's overthrow was on Nov. 4. 

1 Sir T. Norris to Cecil, Oct. 31, 1597. For the terms on which Ormonde 
and the Lords Justices were appointed see Liber Mwnerum Pullicornm, 
part ii. p. 5. The Queen to Ormonde, Dec. 29, in Carew. 

T) 2 




who de- 
spises a 


age, 1597. 

Insisted upon it, and no doubt its main object was to make an 
impression abroad. In 1591 he had taken care to be married 
to Mabel Bagenal by a Protestant bishop, ' according her 
Majesty's laws,' and he now undertook not to correspond with 
Spain or any foreign nation. Another promise was to victual 
the garrison at Blackwater, and he did actually furnish forty 
beeves, ten of which were rejected by the inexorable Williams, 
though the leanest beef was probably better than the horse- 
flesh upon which he and his brave men had lately lived. In 
the end Tyrone refused to give up his eldest son, or any hos- 
tage ; but he agreed to accept a sheriff provided a gentleman 
of the country was appointed, to maintain and victual Black- 
water fort, to renounce the name of O'Neill, to renew his 
submission to Ormonde in some public place, and to pay a fine 
of 500 cows. On receipt of his pardon, he further agreed to 
disperse all his forces, and send Scots or other hired strangers 
out of the realm. 

These terms were accepted, and a pardon passed under 
the great seal of Ireland ; but the result was only a truce, 
and open hostilities were resumed within two months. At the 
very moment that the pardon was given, Tyrone was en- 
couraging his confederates to believe in an imminent Spanish 
invasion of Munster, and it is evident that he had never in- 
tended to yield upon any essential point. 1 

Munster had lately been pretty quiet, but there were not 
wanting signs of the tremendous storm which was soon to 
burst over it. The MacSheehys, the remnant of the Desmond 
gallowglasses, ' preyed, spoiled, and murdered ' over eighty 
English families. Of three brothers, one was sentenced ' to 
have his arms and thighs broken with a sledge, and hang in 
chains, so was he executed without the north gate of Cork ; ' 
the second was killed by an Irish kerne, and the third fell by 
an English hand when Spenser's house at Kilcolman was 
sacked. Donnell MacCarthy saved himself by coming under 

1 Submission to Ormonde, Dec. 22, 1597; the Queon to Ormonde, 
Dec. 29 ; Heads of agreement submitted at Dundalk, March 15, 1598, all in 
Carerv ; Fenton to Cecil, April 20. The course of the negotiations may be 
traced clearly in Moryson, under the year 1597-8. The abortive pardon 
was dated April 11. 



protection and behaving well for a time. His father, the 
wicked Earl of Clancare, died late in 1596, and Sir Thomas 
Norris advised that some small property should be assigned 
to ' his base son of best reputation,' while Florence might 
be given the bulk of the remote and barren heritage of 
McCarthy More. Florence and Donell both went to plead 
their own causes in London, while the widowed countess com- 
plained that she and her daughter were ' prisoners there for 
their diet.' The poor lady begged for her thirds, ' notwith- 
standing any wrangling between my son-in-law, Nicholas 
Browne, Donell MacCarthy, and the rest.' She gained her 
cause, and Donell was given some lands which his father had 
conveyed to him. Ormonde thought the presence of Florence 
important for the peace of Munster, and asked Cecil not to 
detain him, while Florence himself begged the Secretary to 
let him serve her Majesty in Ireland, instead of keeping him 
in London at her cost. When the news of the outbreak 
arrived, he received 1QQI. for his journey to Ireland, but he 
lingered in the hope of getting all the late Earl's estate, and 
Essex had left Ireland before his return. ' 



1 Florence MacCarthy 's Life, chap. viii. Honora Lady Clancare and 
Florence MacCarthy to Cecil, July 29 and Aug. 8, 1598, MSS. Hatjield. 



(II A P. 
VI /MI. 




WHILE Ormonde was trying to make peace with. Tyrone, 
Francis Bacon was encouraging Essex to occupy himself with 
Irish affairs, in which he had an hereditary interest. Honour, 
he argued, was to be got by succeeding where so many had 
failed, and the lion's share would fall to him who had made 
choice of successful agents. Neither Fitzwilliam nor Norris 
had been the Earl's friends, and Russell had been a lukewarm 
one; whereas Ormonde and Sir Conyers Clifford were well 
disposed, and there was no danger in supporting them for 
the time. Popular opinion declared that Irish affairs had 
been neglected, and the mere appearance of care in that 
direction would win credit. Sir William Russell, Sir Richard 
Bingham, the Earl of Thomond, and Mr. Wilbraham, the 
Irish Solicitor-General, were all at hand, and the necessary 
information might be had from them. And then we have 
this truly Baconian passage : ' If your lordship doubt to 
put your sickle into another's harvest ; first, time brings it 
to you in Mr. Secretary's absence; next, being mixed with 
matter of war, it is fittest for you ; and lastly, I know your 
lordship will carry it with that modesty and respect towards 
aged dignity, and that good correspondence towards my dear 
kinsman and your good friend now abroad, as no inconvenience 
may grow that way.' In Cecil's absence Essex played the 
part of secretary, while Raleigh and Russell, Sir Richard 
Bingham, Sir Robert Sidney, and Sir Christopher Blount 
were all mentioned as possible viceroys ; but none of them 
were willing to go. Bacon's further advice was asked, and 
his idea was to temporise with Tyrone, strengthening the 
garrisons and placing confidence in Oro^onde, while taking 


s^eps to remedy the real abuses from which Ireland suffered. CHAP. 


' And,' he says, ' but that your lordship is too easy to pass , ^ 

in such cases from dissimulation to verity, I think if your 
lordship lent your reputation in this case that is, to pretend 
that if peace go not on, and the Queen mean not to make a 
defensive war as in times past, but a full reconquest of those 
parts of the country, you would accept the charge I think 
it would help to settle Tyrone ia his seeking accord, and win 
you a great deal of honour gratis.' l 

The fort at the Blackwater was but a ditch intended to The Biaci.- 
ehelter 100 men. Lord Burgh had left 300 men there, and sick- beiea- 
ness was the natural consequence of this overcrowding. The s uere(3 * 
time expired on June 7, and on the 9th the solitary stronghold 
was again surrounded, Tyrone swearing that he would never 
leave it untaken. But Williams was such a soldier as neither 
numbers, nor threats, nor want of support could daunt. An 
escalade was again attempted, with ladders made to hold 
five men abreast ; but the two field-pieces were loaded with 
musket bullets and swept the trench. The captain vowed 
that he would blow all into the air sooner than surrender, 
and his courage communicated itself to his men. All who 
could stand at all fought bravely, and the corpses of the 
assailants were piled up so as to fill the ditch. No fur- 
ther assault was made; but victuals were scarce, and the 
soldiers, who did not disdain the very grass upon the 
ramparts, subsisted mainly upon the flesh of horses captured 
in several sallies. Seventeen or eighteen mares, the captain 
told one of Fenton's spies, would last for a month at least, 

1 Letter of advice to the Earl of Essex, to take upon him the care of 
Irish causes, when Mr. Secretary Cecil was in France ( February to Apri), 
1598), and a second letter from Bacon a little later, both printed by Sped- 
ding, vol. ii. pp. 94-1.0. There are many significant passages in Rowland 
Whyte's letters in Sidney Papers, vol. ii. pp. 82-97. Essex was busy with 
Ireland before Cecil's departure and before Bacon's first letter, for Whyte 
wrote on Jan. 19 :' Yesterday in the afternoon I went to the Court to 
attend my Lord of Essex, and he no sooner began to hearken unto me, but 
in comes my Lord of Thomond, in post from Ireland, and then was I com- 
manded to take some other time.' And see Chamberlain's Letters, May 4, 
1598. Spenser, who wrote in 1596 proposes that Essex should be Lord- 
Lieutenant, ' upon whom the eye of all England is fixed, and our last hopee 
now rest." 



tions for 
relief of 
the frrt. 



and he would hold out till the middle of August. ' I protest 
to God,' Ormonde wrote to Cecil, ' the state of the scurvy 
fort of Blackwater, which cannot be long held, doth more 
touch my heart than all the spoils that ever were made by 
traitors on mine own lands. The fort was always falling, and 
never victualled but once (by myself) without an army, to 
her Majesty's exceeding charges.' l 

Honour might require that an army should be sent, and 
yet there can be little doubt that Ormonde was right from a 
military point of view. One isolated fort could be of little 
use, and it was even now in contemplation to revive the 
settlement at Derry. About 1,000 seasoned soldiers from 
the Netherlands were placed under the command of Sir 
Samuel Bagenal, a like number of recruits were added, and 
the whole force was held in readiness for an expedition into 
Ulster. But the plan of surrounding Tyrone, which had 
been so often urged upon the English Government, was not 
destined to be carried out for some years to come. In the 
meantime it was decided that Captain Williams should be 
relieved. The forces actually available at this time did not 
much exceed 7.000 men, and of these somewhat more than 
a third were of Irish birth. About a third only were English, 
and rather less than a third were natives of the Pale, with 
English names, but with many Irish habits. The numbers 
which Tyrone could gather round him were at least equal to 
all the Queen's army in Ireland, and only a very strong body 
of men could hope to succeed now that the rebel chief had 
had time to interpose all sorts of obstacles. Earthworks had 
been thrown up between Armagh and the Blackwater, trees 
had been felled and branches intertwined across the roads, 
and holes had been dug in all the fords. Of the three Lords 
Justices, the churchman and the lawyer were opposed to the 
attempt altogether, believing that it was better to defend the 
Pale and withdraw the Blackwater garrison while easy terms 

1 Fenton to Cecil, June 11 ; Ormonde to Ceci', June 18. O'Sullivan 
Bere (torn. iii. lib. iv. cap. iii.) owns to 120 killed in the attempted escalade. 
The eating of grass by the garrison recalls the defence of Casilinnm against 
Hannibal (Livy, xxiii. 19). 



could still be had. Others of the Council agreed with them, 
but Ormonde was supreme ID military matters, and Sir Henry 
Bagenal was at hand to urge him that the relief of the fort 
concerned her Majesty's honour. Failing to dissuade him 
from the enterprise, the others pressed him to take the com- 
mand in person, and, if he had done so, the result might 
have been very different. But Desmond's conqueror was 
now sixty-six years old, and he preferred to serve against the 
Kavanaghs nearer home. He remembered that the safety 
of Leinster had been especially entrusted to him, and Bagenal, 
whose town of Newry lay near the scene of action, and who 
was as bitter as ever against his brother-in-law, was most 
anxious to be employed. 1 

Four thousand foot and 320 horse with four field-pieces Battle of 
marched out of Dundalk under Marshal Bagenal's command. e 

Many of them were veterans who had seen continental war, 
but from the first ill-fortune attended them. The officers the troops, 
seem to have had but little confidence in their general, and 
the simple soldier is quick to take the cue from his imme- 
diate chief. Strict orders were given that no one should stay 
behind, but the young gentlemen who served as volunteers 
lingered in the town, and some of them were killed by the 
Irish horse while crossing the difficult ground between Dun- 
dalk and Newry. The main body reached Armagh without 
fighting, and as they approached could plainly see the enemy 
encamped between the town and the river. After his arrival 
Bagenal called a meeting of officers and told them that he 
intended to avoid the direct road, which was strongly held, 
and to march a mile or two to the right. By so doing he 
hoped to keep on hard ground. One bog had indeed to be 
passed, and his plan was to skirmish there while a passage 
for the guns was made with sticks and boughs. Early next 
morning the army marched accordingly in six divisions, with 
intervals of at least 600 yards, and the Irish skirmishers then 

1 Loftus, Gardiner, Wallop, St. Leger, and Fenton to the Privy Council, 
Aug. 16 ; Lords Justices Loftus and Gardiner to the Privy Council (' in 
private'), Aug. 17 ; Ormonde to the Queen, Aug. 18 ; State of the Queen's 
army, March 31, 1598, printed in the National MSS. of Ireland from a 
paper at Kilkenny. 


CHAP, began to harass them before they had gone half a mile. The 


v_ , !_> little river Callan was passed at a point where there is now 

a bridge and a beetling mill, but which was then a ford, 
with a yellow bottom and yellow banks. From this point the 
column was fully exposed, the O'Donnells drawing round 
their right flank while the O'Neills pressed them on the left. 
Tyrone was protected by a bog, over which his men moved 
with the agility begotten by long practice, and O'Donnell's 
sharp-shooters took advantage of the juniper bushes which 
then studded the hills on the right. The Irish outnumbered 
the relieving force by at least two to one, and their loose 
formation gave them an advantage over the closely packed 
English battalions. The vanguard nevertheless struggled 
through the bog until they came to a ditch a mile long, five 
feet deep, four feet wide, and surmounted by a thorny hedge. 
This they carried with a rush, but not being properly supported 
Death of they were beaten back, and the Marshal coming himself to the 
*gena . rescue was shot through the brain. The centre were delayed 
by the largest piece of artillery, which stuck fast while the 
O'Donnells easily picked off the draught-oxen. The usual 
confusion which follows the death of a general was increased 
by the explosion of two barrels of powder, from one of which 
a private soldier was rashly replenishing his hem. Colonel 
Cosby, who commanded the third battalion, hurried to the 
front, but it was then too late. He was taken prisoner, and 
his regiment shared the fate of the first two. The rear half 
of the army had enough to do to maintain itself against 
O'Donnell, Maguire, and James MacSorley, but preserved its 
formation, and, covered by Captain Montague's horse, made 
a pretty orderly retreat to Armagh. ' I protest,' said a young 
Irish officer afterwards distinguished in these wars, ' our loss 
was only for the great distance that was betwixt us in our 
march, for when the vanguard was charged they were within 
sight of our battle, and yet not rescued until they were over- 
thrown. The explosion, and the delay about the gun, did the 
rest.' l 

1 Lieut. William Taaffe to H. Shee, Aug. 16. He calls the powder-barrels 
4 firkins.' Captain Montague's Report, Aug. 16; Declaration of the two 


Between killed, wounded, and missing the losses did not ^TTAP. 

fall far short of 2,000. Not less than twenty-four officers , '- 

fell, the gun which caused delay by sticking in the mud, was thTdefeat. 
abandoned to the victors, many colours were taken, and nearly 
all the new levies threw away their arms. Several hundred 
Irish soldiers deserted, and with them two English recruits, 
who called next morning to their comrades that Tyrone would 
give them all twenty shillings bounty to join him. Among 
the captains killed was Maelmore O'Reilly, Sir John's son, who 
was known as ' the handsome,' and who fought with distin- 
guished bravery. The survivors gathered in the church at 
Armagh, but it seemed doubtful whether they could maintain 
themselves there. A great part of the provisions, the con- 
veyance of which to the Blackwater was the object of the 
expedition, had fallen into the hands of the enemy, and the 
remaining supplies would scarcely suffice for ten days. The 
Irish soldiers continued to desert steadily, and the disheartened 
remnant of the foot dared not attempt to reach Newry with- 
out help, but it was known that Maguire and O'Donnell were 
also short of provisions, and at last it was decided that the 
horse should break through the victorious Irish who swarmed 
round the camp. Montague performed this service success- 
fully, though not without loss, during the night which followed 
the battle. Terence O'Hanlon pursued him closely, and it 
has been particularly recorded that Captain Romney was 
surprised and killed while smoking a pipe of tobacco by the 
roadside. l 

This disastrous battle was fought on August 14, and on p an ic in ( ' 

Captains Kingsmill, Aug. 23, and that of Captain Billings who commanded 
the rearguard. All the above, with many other papers, are printed either 
in Irish Arch. Journal, N.S. vol. i. pp. 256-282, or in National MSS. of 
Ireland, part iv. 1. See also Camden and the Four Masters. There is a 
minute and nearly contemporary account in O'Sullivan Bere, torn. iii. lib. 
iv. cap. 5, but he was not present. It is O'Sullivan who mentions the 
j unipers, which do not now grow wild about Armagh. I have carefully 
inspected the ground, having besides the advantage of consulting two 
pamphlets kindly sent to me by Mr. E. Rogers of the Armagh Library, 
whose great local knowledge has been brought to bear on the subject. 

1 O'Sullivan ; Montague to Ormonde, Aug. 16. The English accounts 
specifj* twelve colours as lost ; O'Sullivan says thirty-four. 




The fort 

Tlie Irish 



the 16th Montague told the story in Dublin. Ormonde was 
away, and the other Lords Justices were panic-stricken. 
They wrote a humble letter to Tyrone, begging him not to 
attack the defeated troops ' in cold blood.' ' You may,' they 
added, ' move her Majesty to know a favourable conceit of 
you by using favour to these men ; and besides, your ancient 
adversary, the Marshal, being now taken away, we hope you 
will cease all further revenge towards the rest, against whom 
you can ground no cause of sting against yourself.' This 
missive never reached Tyrone, and the Queen said it was 
stayed by accident, though the Lords Justices declared they 
had revoked it. ' The like,' Elizabeth declared, was never read, 
either in form or substance, for baseness.' And, as it turned 
out, Tyrone was not unwilling to make a bridge for his defeated 
enemy. He thought their supply of provisions greater than 
it was, and he feared that troops might land at Lough Foyle, 
while Armagh was still held. His own army, he said, was cost- 
ing him 500Z. a day. These reasons were not known till later, 
but the terms dictated by them were gladly accepted. Cap- 
tain Williams and his heroic band were allowed to leave the 
Blackwater, the officers retaining their rapiers and horses, 
but without colours, drums, or firearms. The whole army 
then marched unmolested to Newry with their wounded and 
baggage. Ormonde was able to report that the loss in killed 
was not so great as at first reported, but might easily have 
been greater ' if God had not letted it ; for their disorder was 
such as the like hath not been among men of any iinder- 
standing, dividing the army into six bodies, marching so far 
asunder as one of them could not second nor help th'other 
till those in the vanguard were overthrown. Sure the devil 
bewitched them ! that none of them did prevent this gross 
error.' l 

The Irish leaders are said to have harangued their men 

1 Ormonde to Cecil, Sept. 15. In writing to the same, on Aug. 24, 
Ormonde admits the reduced list of twenty-four officers killed and one taken 
prisoner, 855 men killed and 363 wounded. To these must be added the 
missing, and there were certainly several hundred deserters. Other Engli>h 
estimates of loss are considerably higher. Camden says ] ,500 men were 



before the fight upon its special importance, and many writers 
have blamed Tyrone for not advancing straight upon Dublin. 
But Celtic armies, though they have often won battles, have 
never known how to press a victory home. Owen Roe O'Neill, 
Montrose, and Dundee were all subject to the same disability ; 
and Tyrone probably did as much as he could. ' The" chiefs 
of Ulster,' say the annalists, 'returned to their respective 
homes in joy and exultation, though they had lost many men.' 
Dublin was in no danger, nor any of the principal towns ; 
but the country was everywhere in a flame. O'Donnell had 
most of Connaught at his mercy, though Sir Conyers Clifford 
could hold his own at Athlone and maintain garrisons at 
Tulsk, Boyle, and Roscommon. Tibbot ne Long, who headed 
such of the lower Burkes as remained loyal, was forced to take 
refuge in one of the boats from which he derived his name, 
and MacWilliam had Mayo at his mercy. With 2,000 foot and 
200 horse and accompanied by O'Dogherty, who was sent by 
O'Donnell to help him, he swept all the cattle, even from the 
furthest shores of Clew Bay. The Earl of Thomond was in 
England, and his brother Teig, who dubbed himself the 
O'Brien, overran Clare, though a younger brother Donnell re- 
mained loyal and opposed him strenuously. To hold all Con- 
naught and Clare, Clifford had but 120 English soldiers, and 
had but very little effective help except from Clanricarde, 
who offered to supply 500 cows for 500Z. As times stood, this 
was thought a very honourable offer, but O'Donnell had no 
difficulty in driving off 4,000 head from those who hesitated 
to submit. 1 

In the Pale and in the midland counties things were little 
better than in Connaught. The Lords Justices discovered 
a plot to surprise Dublin Castle, and hanged some of the 
conspirators, but Friar Nangle and other priests who were 
implicated escaped their vigilance. Croghane Castle, near 
Philipstown, was surprised by the O'Connors, who scaled the 
walls, killed Captain Gifford and his men, and wounded his 
wife in several places. The English proprietor, Sir Thomas 

1 Four Master*, 1598. Sir C. Clifford to the Lords Justices, Sept. 7 ; to 
Cecil, Oct. 30; Lady Clifford's declaration, Oct. 31. 


attack on 


CHAP. Moore, seems to have been absent, but the Irish carried off 

. -, '.* Lady Moore and left her in a bog, where she died of cold. 

Alexander Cosby, the chief of the Queen's County settlers, 
had been killed in 1597, and his widow was fortunately in 
Dublin, but Stradbally fell into the hands of the O'Mores. 
James FitzPiers, the sheriff of Kildare, was a Geraldine, and 
being threatened with the pains of hell by Tyrone, he surren- 
dered Athy to Owen MacRory O'More. Captain Tyrrell, who 
was Tyrone's best partisan leader, went where he pleased ; 
and it was evident that nothing less than the extirpation of 
the English settlers was intended. 1 

Rebellion ^ man y partial attempts at recolonisation the greatest 

mMunster. wag ^j^ on ^he forfeited Desmond estates, and the storm 
was not long in reaching Munster. Piers Lacy, of Bruff in 
Limerick, who had already once been pardoned, went to 
Owen MacRory, informed him that all the Geraldines were 
ready to rise and make James Fitzthomas Earl, and that the 
MacCarthies would also choose a chief. Tyrone's leave was 
first asked and was readily given, for the idea of a new Des- 
mond rebellion was already in his mind. Some months be- 
fore he had spread a report that the attainted Earl's son had 
escaped from the Tower with the Lieutenant's daughter, that 
he had been warmly welcomed in Spain, and that he might 
soon be expected in Munster with large forces. At Michael- 
mas accordingly Owen MacRory, Tyrrell, and Redmond 
Burke, Sir John Shamrock's eldest son, led 1,400 men to 
the Abbey of Owny in Limerick, but made no advance 
while Norris was at Kilmallock. As soon as he withdrew 
they divided into several companies, and destroyed all that 
was English, and only what was English. They burned Sir 
Henry Ughtred's castle at Mayne near Rathkeale, which he 

1 Lords Justices and Council to the Privy Council, Nov. 23 and 27, 1598. 
Sir R. Bingham to the Lords Justices (from Naas) Nov. 27. There is a 
MS. dialogue among the Irish S.P. for 1598, which purports to be the ocular 
testimony of the writer, Thomas Wilson, and which is dedicated to Essex. 
The interlocutors are Peregryn and Silvyn the names of Spenser's two 
sons and the dialogue, which unfolds the state of things in King's County 
from harvest 1597 to All Saints' Day 1598, is very much in the style of that 
between Irenseus and Eudoxus. Is Thomas Wilson a stalking-horse for 
Edmund Spenser ? 



had not attempted to defend. Cahir MacHugh O'Byrne joined 
O'More at Ballingarry with some of his men, and there they 
waited until James Fitzthomas had overcome his natural 
hesitation. Stimulated by the threat of preferring his younger 
brother, he came in with twenty gentlemen, and assumed the 
title of Earl as of O'Neill's gift. The plunder collected by 
this time was so great that a cow was publicly sold in the 
camp for sixpence, a brood mare for threepence, and a prime 
hog for a penny. 1 

From Golden on the Suir Ormonde wrote to warn this 
new Desmond of his danger, and summoned him to his pre- 
sence under safe-conduct. ' We need not/ he said, ' put you 
in mind. of the late overthrow of the Earl your uncle, who was 
plagued, with his partakers, by fire, sword, and famine ; and 
be assured, if you proceed in any traitorous actions, you will 
have the like end. What Her Majesty's forces have done 
against the King of Spain, and is able to do against any other 
enemy, the world hath seen, to Her Highness's immortal fame, 
by which you may judge what she is able to do against you, 
or any other that shall become traitors.' But the Geraldine 
had made up his mind and refused to go. Practically, he 
complained that the State had held out hopes of the Desmond 
succession to him, and that he had served against his uncle 
on that account. A pension of a mark a day from the Queen 
had been paid for one year only. Others had grievances as 
well as himself, and indeed it was not hard to find cases of 
injustice. 'To be brief with your lordship,' he concluded, 
' Englishmen were not contented to have our lands and livings, 
but unmercifully to seek our lives by false and sinister means 
under colour of law ; and as for my part I will prevent it the 
best I can.' 2 

Rightly or wrongly, the last Earl of Desmond had been 
held legitimate, and the first marriage of his father with 
Joan Roche treated as null and void. The boy in the Tower 

1 Four Masters, 1598 ; O'Sullivan, torn. iii. lib. v. cap. 2 ; Discourse by 
William Weever (prisoner with the Munster rebels) Sept. 29 to Oct. 10. 
Fenton to Cecil, April 20, for the Tower story. 

2 Ormonde to James Fitzthomas, Oct. 8, 1598 ; James ' Desmonde ' to 
^Ormonde, Oct. 12. 


s . 









was therefore the only claimant whom the Government could 
recognise, and the sons of Sir Thomas Roe Fitzgerald were 
excluded. But the Geraldines accepted the new creation at 
O'Neill's hands, and the Queen's adherents in Ireland could 
for the time do no more than nickname him the Sugane or 
straw-rope Earl. The English settlement of Munster melted 
away like the unsubstantial fabric of a vision. ' The under- 
takers,' to use Ormonde's words, ' three or four excepted, most 
shamefully forsook all their castles and dwelling-places before 
any rebel came in sight of them, and left their castles with 
their munitions, stuff, and cattle to the traitors, and no manner 
of resistance made. . . . Which put the traitors in such pride, 
and so much discouraged the rest of the subjects as most of 
them went presently to the towns.' But all the settlers were 
not fortunate enough to reach these cities of refuge, and 
numerous outrages were committed. English children were 
taken from their nurses' breasts and dashed against walls. 
An Englishman's heart was plucked out in his wife's presence, 
and she was forced to lend her apron to wipe the murderer's 
fingers. Of the English fugitives who nocked into Youghal, 
some had lost their tongues and noses, and some had their 
throats cut, though they still lived. Irish tenants and servants, 
but yesterday fed in the settlers' houses, were now conspicuous 
by their cruelty. Among those who escaped to England were 
Edmund Spenser and his wife, but one of their children 
perished in the flames. The poet lost all his property, and 
of his life's work in Ireland only his books remain. 1 

At Tallow, in Raleigh's seignory, there were 60 good 
houses and 120 able men, of whom 30 were musketeers; 
but they all ran away, and the rebels burned the rising town 
to the ground. The destruction of his improvements at this 
time may account for the small price which Raleigh's property 
fetched in the next reign. Among castles in the county of 
Cork which were abandoned without resistance by the under- 
takers or their agents, were Tracton, Carrigrohan, and two 
others belonging to Sir Warham St. Leger ; Castlemagner in 

1 Ormonde to the Queen, Oct. 12, 1598 ; Chief Justice Saxey's account, 


Sir William Becher's seiarnorv; and Derryvillane in Mr. CHAP. 

Arthur Hyde's. In Limerick, besides Mayne the rebels took , 1* 

Pallaskenry and another house from Sir Henry Ughtred, 
Newcastle, and two more from Sir William Courtenay ; Tarbet 
and another from Justice Golde ; Foynes, Shanet, and Corgrage 
from Sir William Trenchard, and Flemingstown from Mr. 
Mainwaring. The Abbey of Adare, which was leased to 
George Thornton, was also left undefended. Castle Island 
was taken from Sir William Herbert, and Tralee from Sir 
Edward Denny; and in Kerry generally all the English 
settlers fled. 

Mr. Wayman, a great sheepmaster, left twenty well- 
armed men at Doneraile, but they ran away and were all 
killed on the way to Cork. Norris's English sheep were Norris. 
stolen from Mallow ; his park wall was broken down, and his 
deer let loose. Many settlers fled with their clothes only, and 
being stripped of these they died of cold on the mountains. 
The churches and other vacant places in Cork were filled with 
starving wretches. Youghal was full of them too, and so 
closely pressed that men scarcely dared to put their heads 
outside the gates. The most fortunate of the settlers were 
those who reached Waterford and got a passage to England. 
Here and there alliances among the Irish saved individual 
colonists from utter destruction. 

Thus Oliver Stephenson, born of an Irish mother, was 
protected by his relations. He was summoned before the 
Sugane Earl, who ordered him to show cause why he should 
not surrender his castle of Dunmoylan, near Foynes, to Ulick 
Wall, who claimed it as his ancient inheritance. He was, he 
says, respited till May and ordered to give it up then, ' if my 
prince be not able to overcome their power.' Stephenson 
begged Norris not to construe his shift as treason, and pro- 
mised in the meantime to get all the information possible 
from his maternal relations. Stephenson saved himself, and 
was afterwards trusted by Lord President Carew. 1 

1 List of castles abandoned without resistance in Ormonde's letter 
to the Queen, Oct. 21, 1598; Oliver Stephenson to Norri?, Oct. 16; Henry 
Smyth's State of Munster ' as I did see and hear it,' Oct. 30. An anonymous 

^ 7 OL. in. x 


Arthur Hyde was in England when the rebellion broke out, 
but his wife and children were at his castle of Carriganeady, 
or Q as tl e Hyde, on the Blackwater. On the day that Owen 
MacRory and the rest entered Munster, the country people 
rose ' instantly before noon,' and began plundering all round. 
Hyde's own cattle and those of his English tenants were 
taken at once, but his wife and children escaped to Cork 
with Lord Barry's help, and his eighteen men held the castle 
for three weeks. Hyde landed at Youghal, but could do 
nothing, and his garrison, seeing that there was no chance of 
relief, yielded on promise of life and wearing apparel. They 
were stripped naked, but not killed, by Lord Roche's tenants 
before they had gone a mile. The Sugane, who was present 
in person with an overwhelming force, appointed Piers Lacy 
seneschal of Imokilly, and the castle was surrendered to an 
Irishman who claimed it. Forty persons depending on Hyde 
were left destitute, and he sought to form a company. Sixty- 
four muskets and other arms, with much ammunition, had 
been provided, and it is probable that things would have gone 
differently had Hyde been himself at home. A more success- 
Barkiey. ^ defence was that of Askeaton, by Captain Francis Bark- 
ley. The revolt was sudden and unexpected, and he had 
only the provisions suitable to a gentleman's house in those 
days. On October 6, more than 500 English of all sorts 
men, women, and children accustomed to a decent life and 
nearly all householders, flocked into Askeaton at nine in the 
evening. The panic was so sudden that they came almost 
empty-handed. ' I protest unto your lordships a spectacle of 
greatest pity and commiseration that ever my eye beheld, 
and a most notable example of human frailty.' An English 
barque lay in the Shannon, and Barkley was fortunate enough 
to get rid of some useless mouths that way. Others were 
conveyed to Limerick, where the mayor and citizens used them 
well. By Ormonde's advice 120 able men were retained. With 
soldiers who knew the country, and who burned for revenge, 
this brave captain announced that he would hold out till death. 

paper of October gives some details of Raleigh's settlement at Tallow. So 
also James Sarsfield, mayor of Cork, to the Privy Council, Oct. 21. 


Corn and beef were still to be had, and he only asked for the CHAP. 

means to keep his men together. Askeaton did not fall. 1 , '-~> 

The White Knight, Patrick Condon, Lord Barry's brother The native 
John, and Lord Roche's son David, quickly came to terms make terms 
with the rebels, and Norris believed that the rest would follow Tyrone, 
from love or fear. Lord Barry, indeed, held out bravely ; 
but most of his neighbours had no choice, for the Government 
could do nothing to protect them. The Lord President 
could not trust his Irish troops, and had to retire from Kil- 
mallock without fighting. Four days later, after effecting a 
junction with Ormonde, he was able to victual the little gar- 
rison town, but had to fall back again immediately to Mallow. 
Tyrone had warned his friends not to fight a pitched battle, 
but only to skirmish on difficult ground. After several days' 
desultory warfare in the woods about Mallow, Ormonde was 
recalled to the defence of Kilkenny and Tipperary, and Norris 
went back to Cork, leaving the rebels to do as they pleased. 
An English prisoner with Desmond could report but one 
family of his countrymen spared, 
made Earl that they were Catholics, 
made that they were not to be hurt. They were robbed of 
all, but carried their lives to Cork. After Ormonde's de- 
parture Owen MacRory went back to Leinster with Cahir 
MacHugh. He had been ten days in Munster, and left all 
the other counties at the Sugane's mercy. The Queen was 
much chagrined, and blamed both Norris and Ormonde for 
not giving more effective support to the undertakers. But 
it does not appear that they were to blame, for the revolt 
was extremely sudden, and the settlement had not been so 
managed as to afford the means of resistance. ' For whereas,' Why the 

" i 11-11 i M -11 i settlement 

says Moryson, 'they should have built castles and brought failed, 
over colonies of English, and have admitted no Irish tenant, 
but only English, these and like covenants were in no 
part performed by them. Of whom the men of best quality 
never came over, but made profit of the land ; others brought 
no more English than their own families, and all entertained 

1 Arthur Hyde to the Privy Council, Oct. 28, 1598 ; Captain F. Barkley 
to the Lords Justices, Nov, 3. 

x 2 

J tr 

iond could report but one 

.. A priest told the new- Religious 
. . -, , . . animosity, 

lies, and proclamation was 



in Leinster 

Irish servants and tenants, which were now the first to be- 
tray them. If the covenants had been kept by them, they 
of themselves might have made 2,000 able men, whereas 
the Lord President could not find above 200 of English birth 
among them when the rebels first entered the province. 
Neither did these gentle undertakers make any resistance 
to the rebels, but left their dwellings and fled to walled 
towns ; yea, when there was such danger in flight as greater 
could not have been in defending their own, whereof many 
of them had woeful experience, being surprised with their 
wives and children in flight.' So much for the weak defence, 
as well-informed Englishmen understood it. The causes of 
the outbreak, as seen from a Protestant and English point 
of view, are told by Chief Justice Saxey. Seminaries and 
Jesuits haunted the towns, of which the mayors were recu- 
sants, though shielded by being joined in the commission ; 
the judges of assize were also recusants for the most part, 
and in charging grand juries they never spoke against 
foreign power, nor to advance the Queen's supremacy ; the 
English tenants were too scattered, owing to the undertakers' 
slackness ; and, lastly, the late exaction of cess, instead of the 
customary composition, had bred discontent. O'Sullivan, as 
usual, makes the contest one between Catholics and royalists, 
and the annalists, who were more emphatically Irish than 
Catholic, make it a war of races only. ' In the course of 
seventeen days,' they say, ' the Irish left not, within the 
length and breadth of the country of the Geraldines, from 
Dun queen to the Suir, which the Saxons had well cultivated 
and filled with habitations and various wealth, a single son 
of a Saxon whom they did not either kill or expel.' l 

Of three branches of the Butler family ennobled by the 
Tudor monarchs, two were in open rebellion. Mountgarret 
was a young man, and was married to Tyrone's eldest daughter. 
He now sent to Ulster for 3,000 auxiliaries, and invited his 

1 Sir T. Norris to the Privy Council and to Cecil, Oct. 23, 1598 ; W. 
Weever's discourse, Oct. ; Chief Justice Saxey's account, Oct. ; the Queen 
to Ormonde and the Lords Justices, Dec. 1, and to Norris, Dec. 3 ; Moryson, 
book i. chap. i. ; O'Sullivan, torn. iii. lib. v. caps. 1-5 ; Four Matters, 1598. 
Duuqueen is close to Slea Head, the westernmost point of Kerry. 


father-in-law to spend Christmas with him at Kilkenny. In CHAT. 


the meantime he allied himself with the Kavanaghs, and took , -1- 

the sacrament with Donnell Spaniagh at Ballyragget. Lord 
Cahir was married to Mountgarret's sister, and followed his 
lead. He refused to go to Ormonde when summoned, who 
says he was l bewitched (a fool he always was before) by his 
wife, Dr. Creagh, and Father Archer.' Two loyal neighbours 
went to Cahir under safe-conduct, but the poor man was not 
allowed to see them privately. Dr. Creagh, papal bishop of 
Cork, and the Jesuit Archer were both present, and the peer 
confessed that he must be ruled by them. Creagh abused The Jesuit 
one of the visitors for not saluting him, and Archer disarmed Arclier - 
him for fear he might hurt the bishop. The two church- 
men declared that all the abbey lands should be disgorged, 
and that all Catholics should make open profession, ' or be 
called heretics and schismatics like you.' They insisted upon I 
three points : the full restoration of the Catholic Church, 
the restoration of their lands to all Catholics, and a native , 
Catholic prince sworn to maintain all these things. Gough 
told them that their ideas were ridiculous, and that they could 
not tell what his religion was because that was shut up in his 
own breast. He told Cahir that he was sorry to see him so 
' bogged,' and unable to speak or call his soul his own ; after 
which, he and his friend were not sorry to get away safe. 1 

' I pray God,' said Ormonde, ' I may live to see the utter Weakness 
destruction of those wicked and unnatural traitors, upon all vemment. 
whom, by fire, sword, or any other extremity, there cannot 
light too great a plague.' He pursued Owen MacRory and 
Redmond Burke, with a mixed multitude of Fitzpatricks, 
O'Carrolls, O'Kennedys, and O'Ryans, into the woods of the 
north-west of Tipperary, and captured 1 00 horses laden with 
the spoils of the Munster undertakers. But not very much 
could be done, and he complained bitterly that he was badly 
supported by the Lords Justices. An archbishop and a chief 

1 Ormonde to the Privy Council, Nov. 5, 1598 ; Edward Gough and 
George Sherlock to Sir N. Walshe, Nov. 16. Gough and Walshe held Cis- 
tercian lands at Innislonagh and Glandore ; Sherlock had those of the 
Canons Regular at Cahir; but none of the three bore Protestant names. 



in Clare, 

justice, both old men, were not the Government suited to a 
great crisis, and matters of such vital importance as the victual- 
ling of Maryborough were left almost to chance. Ormonde 
relieved the place with 300 cows collected by himself, but 
not without hard fighting, and the annalists oddly remark 
that he ' lost more than the value of the provisions, in men, 
horses, and arms.' The conduct of the war in Leinster was 
entrusted to Sir Richard Bingham, whose prophecies had 
been completely fulfilled, and who was appointed Marshal in 
Bagenal's place. Norris was to remain in Munster, Clifford in 
Connaught, Sir Samuel Bagenal on the borders of Ulster, and 
Ormonde in Dublin to control the military arrangements. 
To hold the towns and to temporise was all that the Queen 
required until a new viceroy could be had. Bingham had been 
often consulted of late, and much was expected from his un- 
rivalled knowledge of Ireland ; but he was past seventy, and 
worn out with more than fifty years' service by sea and land. 
He died soon after his return to Ireland, and Ormonde was left 
to his own devices. Before the end of the year it was known 
that the government would be entrusted to Essex. 1 

After the victory at the Yellow Ford, O'Donnell remained 
for more than six months at Ballymote. His inactivity, say 
the annalists with unconscious irony, was caused solely by 
the fact that there was no part of Connaught left for him to 
plunder, except Clare. The Earl of Thomond had spent the 
year 1598 in England, where he made a very good impression, 
and on his return remained with Ormonde, at and about 
Kilkenny. Of his two brothers, Donnell, the younger, re- 
presented him in Clare, while Teig led the opposition and 

1 Ormonde to the Privy Council, Nov. 5, 1598 ; to the Queen, Jan. 19, 
1599; the Queen to Ormonde and the Lords Justices, Dec. 1, 1598, in Carew. 
Bingham's appointment as Marshal was announced on Aug. 31, only seven- 
teen days after Bagenal's death. He reached Ireland in October, and died 
at Dublin, Jan. 19. A memorial by Cecil, dated Nov. 4, 1598 (in Carciv, 
p. 523), has the words 'Clifford betrayed, Bingham lightly condemned.' 
Bingham's Irish patent is dated Oct. 1 3, and the Queen informed the Lords 
Justices that she had specially chosen him, that he was to draw pay and 
allowances from the day of Bagenal's death, and that he was to have all 
the privileges that had ever attached to the office. Morrin's Patent Rolls, 
40 Eliz. 57 and 58. 


made friends with Tyrone's adherents in Tipperary. Accom- CHAP. 

panied by Maguire, O'Donnell entered Clare, thoroughly plun- > , ^ 

dered the baronies of Burren, Inchiquin, and Corcomroe, and 
returned unscathed to Mayo. Ennistymon, which was part 
of the territory ravaged, belonged at the time to Sir Tirlogh 
O'Brien, who was ' a sheltering fence and a lighting hill to 
the Queen's people,' and who co-operated with the force sent 
into Clare by Sir Conyers Clifford. Teig, after some skirmish- 
ing, thought it prudent to submit, and sessions were success- 
fully held at Ennis. Thomond then returned to his own 
country and proceeded to chastise Teig MacMahon, who 
had lately wounded and imprisoned his brother Donnell. 
MacMahon had taken an English ship which was in diffi- HOW mort- 
culties on the coast, but ' found the profit very trivial and Deemed! 6 
the punishment severe,' and he had also seized his castle of 
Dunbeg, which was in pledge to a Limerick merchant, but 
without paying the mortgagee. Carrigaholt was taken, and 
all MacMahon's cattle driven away. Cannon were brought 
from Limerick against Dunbeg, but the garrison did not wait 
to be fired at, ' and the protection they obtained lasted only 
while they were led to the gallows, from which they were 
hanged in couples, face to face.' Thomond then went north- 
wards, and restored to his friends the castle from which 
O'Donnell had expelled them. 1 

During the early months of 1599 Tyrone's illegitimate Tyrone's 
son Con was preparing his way in Munster. The Earl Muns>" er . 
blamed him severely for imprisoning and robbing Archbishop 
Magrath, of whose re-conversion he had hopes, since his 
liberty could not be restrained nor his temporalities touched 
without direct authority from Rome. ' But if,' he added, 
' the covetousness of this world caused him to remain on this 
way that he is upon, how did his correcting touch you ? 
Withal I have the witness of my own priest upon him, that 
he promised to return from that way, saving only that he 
could not but take order for his children first, seeing he got 
them, and also that he is friend and ally unto us.' Con tried 

1 Four Masters, 1598 and 1599. The Queen to Sir T. Norris, Dec. 3, 
1598, in Careiv. 




to extort ransom from the astute Miler, who promised to 
befriend him as far as possible without ' hurting his privilege 
in her Majesty's laws,' but Tyrone sent peremptory orders 
that he should be released without any conditions. In the 
almost complete paralysis of authority, most of the Munster 
gentry made terms with Con and the new Earl of Desmond. 
Lord Barry and Lord Roche between them might bring 
100 men to the Queen, but they had no allies worth men- 
tioning. Norris had about 2,000 men, but the general 
falling away was such that he could do very little. At the 
end of March he left Cork with eighteen companies of foot 
and three troops of horse. Lady Roche, a sister of James 
Fitzmaurice, was ready to come out of Castletown to meet 
him, but Tyrone's Ulster mercenaries would not allow her. 
The capture of Carriglea castle was the only real success, and 
the Lord President returned on the ninth day, the rebels 
skirmishing with him to the outskirts of Cork. The rebels 
in Tipperary and the adjoining parts of Leinster assembled 
' before an idol in Ormonde called the Holy Cross, where 
again they solemnly swore not to abandon nor forsake one 
another.' Everyone saw that a system of garrisons was the 
only way to break down the confederacy, but this policy was 
not showy enough to please the new Lord Lieutenant.' l 

1 Four Masters, 1599. For Con O'Neill see Carew, March and April, 
Nos. 299-301 ; Journal of Sir T. Norris, from March 27 to April 4 ; Justice 
Golde to Essex, April 4 ; Essex to Privy Council, April 29. Lord Roche 
had a private quarrel with the Sugane Earl. 




SIR HENRY WOTTON, who was a good judge and who had 
special means of observation in this case, was of opinion that 
Essex wore out the Queen's patience by his petulance. He 
has recorded that a wise and, as it turned out, prophetic 
adviser warned the Earl that, though he might sometimes 
carry a point by sulking at Wanstead, at Greenwich, or in 
his own chamber, yet in the long run such conduct would 
lead to ruin. ' Such courses as those were like hot waters, 
which help at a pang, but if they be too often used will spoil 
the stomach.' The advice was not taken, and Essex continued 
to treat every check as a personal insult. The natural effect 
followed, and by the year 1598 ' his humours grew tart, as 
being now in the lees of favour. 1 

Burghley died a few days before the disaster at Black- He offends 
water, and Philip II. not many days after. The policy of the Queea 
Spain was not much affected, though the change might be 
thought like that from Solomon to Rehoboam ; but England 
missed the wise and kindly hand which had often held Essex 
straight. Bagenal's overthrow brought into sudden promi- 
nence that thorny problem with which the impetuous favourite 
was of all men the least fit to cope. Patience, steadiness, 
organising power, knowledge of men, were the qualities 
needed in Ireland then, as now, and Essex was conspicuously 
deficient in them all. ' I will tell you,' said a great court 
official, ' I know but one friend and one enemy my lord hath : 
and that one friend is the Queen, and that one enemy is him- 
self.' It seemed as if no misconduct could permanently 
alienate Elizabeth, and yet he tried her forbearance very 

Parallel between Essex and Buckingham in Reliquia Wottonianef. 



by his 

Essex de- 
to be 

hardly. A few days or weeks before the old Lord Treasurer's 
death, she had proposed to send Sir William Knollys, Essex's 
uncle, to govern Ireland. The Earl favoured the appointment 
of Sir George Carew, who was certainly much fitter for the 
work than himself, and whom he was thought to be anxious 
to remove from the court. The Queen insisting, he turned his 
back on her with a gesture of contempt. Raleigh who was, 
however, his enemy says he exclaimed that ' her conditions 
were as crooked as her carcase.' She in turn lost her temper, 
and gave him a box on the ear. He laid his hand on his 
sword, swearing that he would not have endured such an in- 
dignity from Henry VIII. himself, and immediately departed 
to Wanstead. 

' Your Majesty hath,' he afterwards wrote to Elizabeth, 
* by the intolerable wrong you have done both me and your- 
self, not only broken all laws of affection, but done against 
the honour of your sex. I think all places better than that 
where I am, and all dangers well undertaken, so I might 
retire myself from the memory of my false, inconstant, and 
beguiling pleasures.' Of course it was very undignified of 
the Queen to strike anyone, but many things may be urged 
in excuse. She was old enough to be her favourite's grand- 
mother. She had known him from early youth, and she had 
every reason to look upon him still in the light of a spoiled 
child. No one with any sense of humour would resent a blow 
from a woman as from a man, and Essex might very well 
have treated it all as a joke. But what is to be said fora man 
who insults a lady well stricken in years, who is his sovereign, 
and who has heaped upon him honours and benefits far 
beyond his deserts ? l 

Norris and Bingham being dead, the appointment of a 

1 Reliquits Wottoniana; ; Camden ; Essex to the Queen in Devereux's 
Earls of Essex, i. 493. The letter quoted in the text is the best proof that 
Camden's story is substantially true. See also Spedding's Life of Bacon, 
ii. 91, 103. For Spanish popular notions on Philip III. see Carew, Aug. 23, 
1602. Beaumont, the French ambassador in 1602, says the Queen told him, 
in a broken voice, that she had warned Essex long since 'qu'il se contest MM 
de prendre plaisir de lui deplaire a toutes occasions, et de mepriser sa per- 
sonne insolemment comme il faisait, et qu'il sc gardast bien de toucher a 
son sceptre.' Von Raumcr, Letter 60. 



Lord Deputy became a matter of pressing necessity. The CHAP. 

Queen thought of Mountjoy, who, as the event proved, was, of , 

all men, fittest for the arduous task. But Essex objected to 
him, much upon the same grounds as lago objected to Michael 
Cassio. He had indeed some experience in the field, but only 
in subordinate posts ; and he was ' too much drowned in book 
learning.' Another argument was that he was a man of small 
estate and few followers, and that ' some prime man of the 
nobility ' should be sent into Ireland. Everyone understood 
that he had come to want the place himself, and that he 
would oppose every possible candidate. 

During the autumn of 1598 and far into the winter, the 
affair hung fire, more perhaps from the difficulty of satisfying 
his demands for extraordinary powers than from any wish to 
refuse him the dangerous honour. Indeed, if we may believe 
Camden, his enemies foresaw his failure, and were only too 
anxious to help him to the viceroyalty on any terms. About 
the new year his appointment seemed to be certain, and by 
the first week in March everything was settled. ' I have 
beaten Knollys and Mountjoy in the Council,' Essex wrote in 
great exultation, ' and by God I will beat Tyr-Owen in the 
field ; for nothing worthy her Majesty's honour hath yet been 
achieved.' It is not in such boastful mood that great men 
are wont to put on their armour. And besides all this, 
Knollys was his uncle and Mountjoy his familiar friend. 1 

It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to inquire how Essex came His uneasy 
to desire such a thankless office as the government of Ireland. 
His ambition was not of an ignoble cast ; but it is certain 
that he grasped greedily at every important command, and 
that he could scarcely brook a superior, or even a colleague. 
This was clearly shown in his ridiculous quarrel with the 
Lord Admiral about precedence, no less than in more im- 
portant matters. He prpbably saw the Irish difficulty well 
enough, but any hesitation about incurring the risk of failure 
was more than counterbalanced by the fear of someone else 
gaining great glory. 

1 Spedding, ii. 124-126; Essex to John Harrington in Tark's edition of 
Nwjfp Antigua, i. 246. 





Opinions of 
and Bacon. 

Bacon had advised him to remain at Court, but to take 
Irish affairs under his special protection there, to consult with 
men who knew the country, to fill places with his own friends, 
and to patronise others who were likely to be useful. In 
short, he was urged to make what the newspapers now call 
political capital out of Ireland, but not to risk himself and 
his reputation there. While giving this counsel, Bacon had 
expressed a fear that the Earl was not the man to play such a 
game skilfully. And so it fell out. By the beginning of the 
year 1599 Essex saw that he would have to go. Years after- 
wards, when Elizabeth was gone, Bacon found that an incon- 
venient cloud hung over him on account of the part he had 
played. He then tried to persuade others, and possibly suc- 
ceeded in persuading himself, that he had really ' used all 
means he could devise ' to prevent Essex from venturing into 
Ireland. The fact seems to be that he kept quiet as long as 
the thing could have been prevented, and did not try to 
make Essex reconsider the matter when he decided to go. He 
afterwards said that he ' did plainly see his overthrow chained 
as it were by destiny to that journey '; but at the time he 
did no more than warn him against possible failure from 
defects of temper, while he enlarged upon the great glory 
which would follow success. A comparison of extant letters 
shows that Essex himself was far more impressed than Bacon 
with the danger and difficulties of the Irish problem, though, 
when he was on the eve of setting out, his impulsive nature 
allowed him to brag of the great things that he was going 
to do. 1 

' I have heard him say,' writes Wotton of Essex, ' and not 
upon any flashes or fumes of melancholy, or traverses of dis- 
content, but in a serene and quiet mood, that he could very well 
have bent his mind to a retired course.' This is confirmed by 
other authorities, and indeed Essex, though he had a soldier's 
courage, was by nature a student and a dreamer rather than a 
man of action. Circumstances brought him forward, and his 

1 Bacon's advice to Essex immediately before his going to Ireland, 
Spedding, ii. 129 ; Essex to Southampton, Jan. 1, 1599, printed by Abbott ; 
Bacon's Apology, first printed in 1604. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 317 

character made him uncomfortable in any place except the CHAP. 


highest. Bacon wished him to stay at court with a white , '" 

staff, as Leicester had done, but the work was uncongenial. 
If he could have succeeded Burghley, perhaps he might have 
accepted the position ; as it was Ireland offered him the kind 
of power which he most coveted, and though he was not blind 
to the danger of leaving a Hanno behind him, he fancied 
that he was fit to play the part of Hannibal. Just as he was 
starting Bacon wrote him a long letter of advice, reminding 
him that the Irish rebels were active and their country diffi- 
cult, but reminding him also that ' the justest triumphs that 
the Romans in their greatness did obtain, and that whereof 
the emperors in their styles took addition and denomination, 
were of such an enemy as this. . . . such were the Germans 
and the Ancient Britons, and divers others. Upon which kind 
of people, whether the victory were a conquest, or a recon- 
quest upon a rebellion or a revolt, it made no difference that 
ever I could find in honour.' Years afterwards Bacon pleaded 
that he had done what he could to stop Essex, on the ground 
that the expedition would certainly fall short of public 
expectation and ' would mightily diminish his reputation.' 
Again he mentions the Germans and Britons, the woods and 
the bogs, the hardness of the Irishmen's bodies, so that there 
can be no doubt about what he alludes to. We have the 
original letter, and Bacon stands convicted of misrepresenta- 
tion, the grosser because careless observers might so easily 
confound it with the reality. 1 

About the beginning of December the number of Essex's Difficulties 
army was fixed at 14,000. Then there was talk of a smaller 
establishment, and the affair went through the usual hot and 

1 The letter of advice is in Spedding, ii. 129 ; Apology concerning the ' 
Earl of Essex ; Essex to Southampton in Abbott's Bacon and Essex, chap. ix. 
Jan. 1, 1599. Essex wrote to the Queen, just before starting, as follows : 
' From a mind delighting in sorrow, from spirits wasted with passion, from 
a heart torn with care, grief, and travail, from a man that hateth himself 
and all things also that keepeth him alive, what service can your Majesty 
expect ? since my service past deserves no more than banishment and pro- 
scription into the cursedst of all other countries.' The letter ends with 
some verses in praise of a contemplative life, and Essex signs himself 'your 
Majesty's exiled servant.' MS, Harl. 35, p. 338. 




of Essex. 

cold phases of all suits at Elizabeth's court. Spenser had 
experienced the miseries of hope deferred, and Shakespeare 
saw the spurns which patient merit of the unworthy takes. 
' Into Ireland I go,' writes the Earl on New Year's day ; 
' the Queen hath irrevocably decreed it, the Council do pas- 
sionately urge it, and I am tied in my own reputation to use 
no tergiversation.' He had many misgivings, but had decided 
in his own mind that he was bound to go. ' The Court,' he 
admitted, ' is the centre, but methinks it is the fairer choice 
to command armies than humours.' In the meanwhile the 
humour changed daily. Essex was not patient, and the 
whole wrangle must have been inexpressibly distasteful to 
him. On Twelfth-day the Queen danced with him, and 
it was decided that he should start in March. Three weeks 
later there were fresh difficulties about the excessive number 
of gentlemen whom he proposed to take with him. As late 
as March 1, it seemed doubtful whether the Queen's irrevo- 
cable decree would not after all be altered. Mountjoy, who 
had a much cooler head, had earnestly advised his friend to 
leave nothing to chance, to his enemies' pleasure, or to official 
promises, and it is to the Earl's consciousness that this advice 
was sound, that the delays musb be chiefly attributed. On 
March 6 letters patent were passed, releasing him from the 
arrears of his father's debts incurred in the same thankless 
Irish service, and six days later he was formally appointed 
Lord Lieutenant. That title had not been granted since the 
return of Sussex thirty-seven years before. 1 

On March 27 Essex took horse at Seething Lane, accom- 
panied by a brilliant suite. Prayers were offered in the 
churches for his success against the imitators of Korah and 
Absalom, in whose cases God had manifested to the world his 

1 The progress of the negotiations may be traced in Chamberlain's 
Letters (Camden Society). Essex to Southampton, Jan. 1, 1599 ; and Charles 
Blount (afterwards Lord Mountjoy) to Essex, Jan. 3, both in Abbott, 
chap. ix. 

' Full little knowest thou, that has not tried, 
What hell it is in suing long to bide ; 
To lose good days that might be better spent 
To waste long nights in pensive discontent ; 
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow, &c.' Spenser. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 319 

hatred of all rebellion against His divine ordinance, and fore- 
shadowing His probable care for an anointed queen. ' Do 
not,' said the Anglican divines, ' punish our misdeeds by 
strengthening the hands of such as despise the truth.' 
Through Cornhill and Cheapside, and for more than four miles 
out of town, the people thronged about their favourite, with 
such cries as ' God bless your lordship ! God preserve your 
honour ! ' The day was very fine at starting, but ere Isling- 
ton was passed there came a black north-easter with thunder, 
hail, and rain ; and some held it for a bad omen. Nor did 
the popular hero travel as though he loved the work or be- 
lieved in himself. On April 1 he was at Bromley, bitterly 
complaining that the Queen would not make Sir Christopher 
Blount a councillor, and announcing that he had sent him 
back. ' I shall,' he wrote, ' have no such necessary use of 
his hands, as, being barred the use of his head, I would carry 
him to his own disadvantage, and the disgrace of the place 
he should serve in.' The place was that of Marshal of the 
army, which Blount did actually fill, and there is no reason to 
suppose that he would have been any useful addition to the 
Council. Such virtues as he had, and they were not many, 
were those of the camp. On the 3rd, Essex was at Tamworth, 
and on the 5th at Helbry, the island off the Dee which Sir 
Henry Sidney had found so wearisome. The wind did not 
serve, and there was a delay of a week before he sailed from 
Beaumaris, having ridden over Penmaen Mawr, 'the worst 
way and in the extremest wet that I have endured.' After a 
bad passage Dublin was reached on the 15th. William, 13th 
Earl of Kildare, ' with eighteen of the chiefs of Meath and 
Fingal ' set out to follow in the Lord Lieutenant's wake. The 
vessel, built for speed and probably overpressed with canvas, 
foundered in mid-Channel, and all on board perished. 1 

1 Devereux, ii. 16-24 ; Four Masters ; Prayer for the good success of 
Her Majesty's forces in Ireland (black letter, London, 1599). 
Were now the general of our gracious empress 
(As in good time he may), from Ireland coming, 
Bringing rebellion broached on his sword, 
How many would the peaceful city quit, 
To welcome him ? Henry V. Act 5. 




Great ex- 

which cool 
do not 

The public expectation from the mission of Essex was 
such that Shakespeare ventured to suggest a possible com- 
parison between him and the victor of Agincourt. Had he 
succeeded he would have been the hero of the Elizabethan 
age, greater in the eyes of his contemporaries than Norris or 
Raleigh, greater even than Drake. His task was, indeed, no 
light one, for the rebels in arms were estimated at very 
nearly 20,000 men, of which less than half were in Ulster. 
In the south and west the chief towns and many detached 
strongholds were held for the Queen, but in the northern 
province her power was confined to Carrickfergus and Newry, 
Carlingford, Greencastle, and Narrow Water, all on the coast, 
and to one castle in the inland county of Cavan. The pre- 
parations were on a scale suitable to the emergency, for 
16,000 foot and 1,400 horse far exceeded the usual proportions 
of a viceregal army. Nor was it composed wholly of raw 
levies, for Essex insisted on having jSir Henry Docwra, with 
2,000 veterans, from Holland ; his plan being so to distribute 
them that some seasoned soldiers should be present every- 
where. But there had always been corruption in the Irish 
service, and cool observers thought it necessary to make 
allowance for false musters and cooked returns. A crowd of 
adventurous young gentlemen accompanied Essex, among 
whom was John Harrington, the Queen's godson, and by her 
much admired for his wit. Harrington was advised, by a 
friend at court, to keep a secret journal in Ireland, for future 
use in case of disaster. ' Observe,' says the letter, ' the man 
who commandeth, and yet is commanded himself. He goeth 
not forth to serve the Queen's realm, but to humour his own 
revenge.' There were spies about him, 'and when a man 
hath so many shewing friends, and so many unshewing ene- 
mies, who learneth his end here below ? ' Cecil cautioned 
Secretary Fenton that the new Lord Lieutenant thought 
ill of him because of his friendship with Sir John Norris. 
Justice Golde of Munster, who knew his country well, 
hoped Essex's ' famous victory in mighty Spain would not 
be subject to receive blemish in miserable Ireland.' It did 
not require the penetration of a Bacon to see that the ex- 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 321 

peclition was likely to end in failure, and in the ruin of the 
chief actor. 1 

The Lord Lieutenant's commission was of the most ample Powers 

^^ _ * ff j yg || 

kind. He was authorised to lease the land of rebels gene- Essex, 
rally, and more particularly to give or grant property affected 
by the attainder of Tyrone and others in Tyrone, Tyrconnell, 
Fermanagh, Leitrim, and the Route, exceptions being made 
in favour of O'Dogherty and Sir Arthur O'Neill, as rebels 
by compulsion rather than through disloyalty. Officers not . 
holding by patent he was empowered to dismiss, and even 
patentees might be suspended. He might grant pardons for 
all treasons, but in Tyrone's case he was only to pardon for 
life, and not for lands, and to exact some guarantee before 
giving even life and liberty to one who had ' so vilely abused 
her mercy.' That ' capital traitor ' was in no case to be spared 
without due submission first made in all lowly and reverend 
form. The power of making knights had usually been granted 
to viceroys, and had been sometimes abused by them. This 
touched Elizabeth in her tenderest point, for it was by not 
letting it become too cheap that she had made knighthood a 
real defence of the nation. Essex was charged to ' confer that 
title upon none that shall not deserve it by some notorious 
service, or have not in possession or reversion sufficient 
living to maintain their degree and calling.' 2 

Among the officers serving under Essex in Ireland was Sir Arthur 
Sir Arthur Chichester, whose value he had learned during 

1 Chamberlain's Letter*, 1599. Eobert Markham to John Harrington 
in JVuffee Antique, i. 239 ; Fenton to Cecil, May 7 ; Fynes Moryson's 
Itinerary, part i. book i. ch. i. At Hatfield there are a great many letters 
asking Essex to employ the writers or their friends in Ireland. Most of 
these anticipate triumph. William Harborn on Feb. 3 asks for nothing, 
but presents the Earl with an Italian history of the world in four volumes, , 
' to attend your honour, if they be permitted, in this your pretended Irish '' 
enterprise, at times vacant to recreate your most heroical mind.' The 
Queen's instructions speak of a ' royal army, paid, furnished, and provided 
in other sorts than any king of this land hath done before.' Its nominal 
strength was raised to 20,000, but they were never really under arms at 

2 The Commission, dated March 12, is in Morrin's Patent Rolls, ii. 520. 
The instructions, dated March 27, are fully abstracted by Devereux, and in 



the Cadiz expedition. In his capacity of Earl Marshal he 
directed Chichester to take a muster of 2,600 at Chester ; but 
it was to Cecil that the latter owed his appointment to com- 
mand a regiment of 1,200 men, and it was to him that he 
applied for the pay due to his brother John when slain at 
Carrickfergus, remarking at the same time that he was a 
' better soldier than suitor.' Cecil had protested against so 
able a man being wasted in the command of a mere company. 
Chichester landed at Dublin ; and went to Drogheda, which 
Essex visited on purpose to review a regiment of which he 
had heard so much. The veterans, who came straight from 
the strict school of the Ostend siege, made an imposing show 
on parade, and the Lord Lieutenant thoughtlessly charged 
them with his mounted staff. The pikemen did not quite see 
the joke, and stood so firm that Essex had to pull his horse 
back on its haunches, and ' a saucy fellow with his pike 
pricked his Lordship (saving your reverence) in the rump 
and made him bleed.' Chichester was sent to his brother's 
old post at Carrickfergus, and there he was generally quartered 
till the end of the war and of the reign. 1 

Esvx post- ' This noble and worthy gentleman our lord and master,' 
departure said Wotton, who was one of his secretaries, ' took the sword 
*"]' and sway of this unsettled kingdom into his hands 15th 

instant,' adding that the Bishop of Meath preached a grave, 
wise, and learned sermon on the occasion. Essex was in- 
structed to inform himself by conference with the Council, and 
the result of several meetings was a resolution not to attack 
Tyrone and O'Donnell, but rather to plague those Leinster 
allies who had lately taken a solemn oath of allegiance to 
them in Holy Cross Abbey. Want of forage, involving lean 
cattle and weak draught-horses, was the reason given for in- 
action ; but it is proverbial that a council of war never fights, 
and the Lord Lieutenant was but too ready to adopt a dilatory 
policy. ' A present prosecution in Leinster, being the heart 
of the whole kingdom,' was what the Council advised, and if 

1 Chichester to Cecil, March 17, 1599, MS. Hatficld. Account of Sir 
Arthur Chichester by Sir Faithful Fortescue in Lord Clermont's privately 
printed Life of Sir John FurtescKC, &c. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 323 

that plan had been adhered to, there was a good deal to be CHAP. 

said in its favour. About 30,000 rebels were reported to be , '-> 

in arms altogether ; and of these the home province contained 
3,000 natives, besides 800 mercenaries from Ulster. The 
mountains of Wicklow and Dublin had not been quieted by 
the death of Feagh MacHugh ; his sons, with other O'Byrnes 
and O'Tooles, still carried on the war, while the bastard Geral- 
dines and a remnant of the Eustaces were out in Kildare. 
Carlow and Wexford were terrorised by Donell Spaniagh 
and his Kavanaghs. Owen MacRory commanded a powerful 
band of O'Mores in Queen's County, and in King's County 
there were still many unsubdued O'Connors. Lord Mount- 
garret and the O'Carrolls were also reckoned as rebels. Meath 
and Westmeath were full of armed bands, while Longford 
and Louth had suffered greatly by incursions from Ulster. 
A force of 3,000 foot and 300 horse was sent forward to 
Kilcullen, and on May 10 Essex set out from Dublin to take 
the command. 1 

From Kilcullen bridge on the Liffey to Athy bridge on Campaign 
the Barrow, the line of march lay through a wooded country, 
and stray shots, which did no harm, were fired at advanced 
parties. Athy was found to be decayed through the dis- 
turbed state of the country, but the castle was surrendered 
without difficulty, and Ormonde made his appearance, accom- 
panied by his kinsmen Lords Mountgarret and Cahir, both of 
whom had been considered in rebellion. About 200 rebels 
showed themselves, but retired to bogs and woods on the 
advance of Southampton with a detachment. Lord Grey de 
Wilton was carried by his impetuosity further forward than 
his orders warranted, and was placed under arrest for a night. 

1 Report on state of Ireland April 1599, in Caretc, and further par- 
ticulars in Dymmok's Treatise of Ireland (ed. Butler, Irish Arch. Society, 
1843). Dymmok's account of the Leinster and Munster journey is, with 
slight omissions, word for word (but better spelt) Harrington's journal 
from May 10 to July 3, after which it is continued from other sources. 
{Nugce Antiques, i. 268-292.) There is an independent journal in Carew from 
May 21 to July 1. The opinion of the Irish Council is printed by Devereux, 
i. 24. Essex to the Privy Council, April 29. Sir H. Wotton to Ed. Reynolds, 
April 19, MS. Hatfield, where it is noted that Sir H. Wallop died within an 
hour of the Lord Lieutenant's arrival. 


CHAP. Both lords had cause to regret what was perhaps an ill-judged 
-1 ' w _V exercise of authority. Sir Christopher St. Lawrence here 
distinguished himself by swimming across the Barrow, re- 
covering some stolen horses, and returning with one of the 
marauder's heads. 

After three or four days the provision train came up, and 
Maryborough was relieved ; the rebels not venturing to make 
their threatened attack at Blackford near Stradbally. From 
Maryborough, which Harrington calls ' a fort of much im- 
portance, but of contemptible strength,' Essex made his way 
to Lord Mountgarret's house at Ballyragget. The line of 
march lay through a wooded pass ; where the O'Mores had 
dug ditches and made breastworks of the fallen trees. Essex 
showed both skill and activity, but he lost three officers and 
several men ; and the natives could hardly have hoped to stop 
a viceregal army between Dublin and Kilkenny. One Irish 
account says the English loss was great, and another notes 
the capture of many plumed helmets, from which the place 
was named the ' pass of feathers.' The accounts agree that 
Owen Owen MacRory had not more than about 500 men with 
O'M^re 17 n * m > an< ^ Harrington says he offered to have a fight with 
sword and target between fifty chosen men on each side. 
Essex agreed to this, but the Irish did not appear. The Lord 
Lieutenant did not risk as much as Perrott had formerly 
done, when he proposed to decide the war by a duel with 
Fitzmaurice, but Ormonde must have remembered that day 
well, and can hardly have thought this later piece of knight- 
errantry much less foolish. 1 

Campaign The Kilkenny people expressed their joy at the arrival of 

ia Monster. jj gsex i j^y li ve ly orations and silent strewing of the streets 

with green herbs and rushes,' and he received a similar wel- 

1 Kvgce Antiques, i. 269-275; Four Masters; O'Sullivan Bere, torn. iii. 
lib. v. cap. 9. O'Donovan cannot exactly identify the ' transitus plumarum,' 
and the name is forgotten in the district. Harrington places it between Croshy 
Duff hill, which is two and a half miles from Maryborough on the Tinuihuc 
road, and Cashel, which is four miles from Maryborough on the Ballyroan 
road. Captain Lee, in Desiderata Citriosa Hibernica, i. 114, suggests thai 
Tyrone would willingly settle all his differences with Bagenal (whom he 
very wrongly accuses of cowardice) by a duel. Tyrone was the last man 
in t lie world to do such an act of folly, but Lee exposes his own chancier. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 325 

come at Clonmel. But he did not like the Latin oration CHAP 

delivered at the latter town : it adjured him not to bear the ^ , '. 

sword of justice in vain, while he anxiously protested that it 
was for the exercise of clemency that ' her Majesty had given 
him both sword and power.' 

Essex was now in Munster, and his resolution first to 
subdue the home province had been thrown to the winds. 
Derrinlaur Castle, which annoyed the navigation of the Suir, 
was surrendered ; its indefensibility had been proved in 1574, 
and the fate of the garrison was doubtless well remembered. 
Another castle higher up the river gave more trouble. Lord 
Cahir was in the viceregal camp, but his brother James 
(called Gal die or the Englishman) undertook to defend the 
family stronghold, and it was necessary to bring up heavy 
artillery. The want of foresight which characterised this 
campaign was conspicuously shown here. The battering 
train, 'one cannon and one culverin,' was brought up by 
water to Clonmel, but no draught horses had been provided, 
nor were there any means of strengthening the bridges, which 
might sink under so unusual a weight. The guns were slowly 
dragged by men all the way to Cahir, of the strength of which 
there is an elaborate official account. The critical Harrington 
admits that it was not built with any great art, but that 
nature had made it practically impregnable, which was not 
true even in those days. An assault would have been difficult, 
for the castle was then surrounded by water ; but a battery, 
which completely commanded it, was easily planted near 
the site of the present railway station. Lord Cahir called 
upon his brother to surrender, but was answered by threats 
and insults. Two days later the guns came, were placed at Siege of 
once in position, and opened fire in a few hours ; but the 
carriage of the largest ' brake at the second shot,' and took 
a day and a half to repair. A ball stuck in the culverin, but 
that too was cleared in time, and fifty rounds from this light 
piece was enough to silence the garrison on that side. An 
orchard under the south-west wall was occupied the same 
night, and most of the garrison escaped by the left bank of 
the river ; but two of the English captains were killed. Before 




Death of 

a breach could be effected the White Knight threw in re- 
inforcements, and the besiegers made another lodgment at the 
north-east end of the island. The cannonade was renewed at 
close quarters, and on the night of the third day the garrison 
made a sally. The intended assault had been assigned to 
Sir Charles Percy and Sir Christopher St. Lawrence, with four 
companies of the Flanders veterans, who repulsed the attack 
and entered the castle along with the Irish, of whom about 
eighty were killed. A few escaped by swimming, and the 
guns were soon mounted on the deserted walls. Having 
repaired damages and placed a garrison of 100 men in the 
castle, the Lord Lieutenant marched northward along the 
left bank of the Suir. He made much of this siege, which 
was the single thing he had to boast of in Munster, but 
it was a small matter after all. A year later James Butler, 
with sixty men, again got possession of this ' inexpugn- 
able ' fortress without firing a shot, but soon surrendered 
to Carew, whose bare threats were enough to secure his 
object. 1 

The bridge at Golden was repaired and the army passed 
to Tipperary, where a letter was received from Sir Thomas 
Norris, whom Essex had already met at Kilkenny. The Lord 
President announced that he had been wounded in a skirmish 
with the Castleconnel Burkes, but he recovered sufficiently 
to accompany Essex in part of his Munster campaign. The 
wound seems to have been fatal at last, for on August he 
was dangerously ill, and in September commissioners were 
appointed to execute duties which had been neglected since 
his death. The Lord-Lieutenant himself was well received at 

1 The Lord President, Ormonde, and other councillors ' hath persuaded 
me for a few days to look into his government.' Essex to the Privy Council, 
May 21, 1599, MS. Hatficld. The few days were a full month. Nvga 
Antiques, i. 275-278 ; Journal of occurrents in Carew, under June 22. The 
battery was planted on May 28, and all was over by the 31st. ' The castle 
of Cahir, very considerable, built upon a rock, and seated in an island in 
the midst of the Suir, was lately rendered to me. It cost the Earl of Essex, 
as I am informed, about eight weeks' siege with his army and artillery. It 
is now yours without the loss of one man.' Cromwell to Bradshaw, March 5, 
1G49. Thus history is falsified by flattery and local vanity. There is a 
picture-plan of the siege in Pacata Hibernia. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 327 

Limerick, and entertained with two English orations, 'in CHAP. 

which,' says Harrington, ' I know not which was more to be , ^ 

discommended words, composition, or oratory, all of which 
having their peculiar excellencies in barbarism, harshness, 
and rustical, both pronouncing and action.' After several 
days' rest the next operation was to revictual Askeaton, and 
the Sugane Earl showed himself at Adare with 2,000 or 3,000 
men. The bridge was not defended, but the Irish galled the 
army in passing a boggy wood beyond the Maigue, and the 
soldiers ' went so coldly on ' that Essex had to reproach their 
baseness. Harrington describes the enemy as 'rather mortice- Irish 
dancers tripping after their bag-pipes' than soldiers, and 
declares that in all Munster they never once strayed from 
the edge of their woods ' further than an old hunted hare 
doth from her covert for relief.' Some fighting there was, 
and the official account makes much of the Irish losses and 
little of the Lord- Lieutenant's ; but Harrington says that 
Plunkett, an insurgent captain who was supposed to have 
shown slackness, had next day to give Desmond hostages for 
his good behaviour. As Essex passed through each hedge, 
the thorns closed behind him, and left the state of Munster 
unaltered. 1 

Askeaton was easily victualled by water from Limerick, End of 
and Essex turned aside to Conna near Lismore, where Desmond c 
had his chief residence. The move was thought a strange 
one, and Harrington could only conjecture that he wished 
to 'give the rebels an inexcusable provocation,' but O'Sullivan, 
much less ingeniously, says that he did not dare to proceed 
further westward. At Finniterstown the army had to pass 
between two woods, and had a sharp fight with Desmond, 
who had been joined by Lord Fitzmaurice and some of the 
MacCarthies. Captain Jennings was killed, Sir Henry Norris 
had his leg broken by a bullet, and a third officer was shot 
through both cheeks. Norris ' endured amputation with 

1 Journal of occurrents in Cavern t under June 22 ; Nuga; Antlqn<r, 
i. 278-280. The Journal, the Four Master*, and O'Sullivan 13ere, torn. iii. 
lib. v. cap. 6, all agree that Norris died of a wound in the head. ' Kilthilu' 
may be Kilteely near Hospital, whither the Journal >ays the wounded man 
was lirst carried, lie died in his own house at Mallow. 





Death of 
Sir Henry 

extraordinary patience,' but died a few weeks afterwards, 
making the third of these famous six brothers who had fallen 
a victim to the Irish service. After an interval, which was 
allowed to elapse for fear of causing fresh sorrow, the Queen 
wrote to condole with Lord and Lady Norris on the ' bitter 
accident ' which had deprived them of two more sons, and 
the survivor was ordered home from Holland to comfort 

The army then marched by Groom to Bruff, whence Essex 
went with Ormonde, Blount, St. Leger, and Carew to consult 
the Lord President at Kilmallock. They agreed that there 
was no money, no magazine, no remnant of any kind of 
victual of her Majesty's stores, cows enough for only two 
days, and hardly ammunition for three. On Norris promising 
to procure some beeves out of Lord Barry's country and to 
send them to Conna the advance was resumed, the line of 
march being over the Ballyhoura hills to Glanworth and 
Fermoy. Essex himself went to Mallow, detached a party 
to Cork for the promised supplies, and then rejoined the 
army with Cormac MacDermot MacCarthy, who brought 100 
cows and 200 kerne. There was some fighting, and Sir 
Henry Danvers was wounded between Fermoy and Conna ; 
but the latter castle was dismantled. Lord Barry brought 
the convoy safely to Castle Lyons, and the Blackwater was 
passed at Affane, a ford which was only practicable for one 
hour at low water. The President returned from the neigh- 
bourhood of Dungarvan with 1,000 men, with which he 
expected to be able to maintain the war in his province, 
and Essex marched without fighting through Lord Power's 
country to Waterford. 1 

In pursuance of his original intention to settle Leinster 
in a \Vick- B before going further afield, Essex had proposed to give Sir 
low. Henry Harrington, seneschal of Wicklow, 700 foot and 50 

horse, 300 of these to be seasoned soldiers. His sudden 

1 Nugce Antique and Journal nt siij). Essex left Askeaton on the 8th, 
and arrived at Waterford on June 21. The Queen to Lord and Lady Norris, 
Sept. 6, in S.P. Domestic, and Rowland Whyte to Sir R. Sidney, Sept. 8, in 
Sidney Payers. 

Defeat of 

ESSEX IN TKELAND, 1599. 329 

resolution to attack Munster altered this, and the work was CHAP. 
left to * four new companies and Captain Adam Loftus, his ^- ^ 
company of foot, who were all Irish and most of them lately 
come from the rebels ; myself,' Harrington plaintively adds, 
' without either horse or foot, or any penny of entertain- 
ment.' The O'Byrnes had fortified the passage of the Avon- 
more near Rathdrum, and, in order to accustom his troops to 
the presence of an enemy, Harrington led them out several 
miles and encamped near the river. This was on May 28, 
when Essex was before Cahir. Phelim MacHugh sent peace- 
ful messages to Harrington, which can have had no object 
but to disarm his suspicion. Next morning the Irish were 
in considerable force, and, after reconnoitring, the senechal 
ordered a return to Wicklow. The enemy pressed on his rear 
and hung on his flanks, the ground being for the most part 
bush, wood, and bog. A stream which crossed the road was 
safely forded, but some signs of insubordination appeared in 
Loftus's company, which was explained by an attempt on the 
part of his subalterns to gain over some of the hostile kerne 
who had formerly fought on the Queen's side. If this was a 
stratagem on the part of the O'Byrnes it was completely suc- 
cessful. Loftus did his best in the rear, the post of danger 
in a retreat, but received a wound from which he afterwards 
died. His men immediately ran away, and, although no one 
pursued, never stopped till they got to Wicklow. The Irish 
then charged down the road, and the main body of infantry 
behaved no better. ' I persuaded them,' says Captain Atherton, 
' but to turn their faces and it should be sufficient for their 
safety, but they never offered to turn, nor speak, but, as men 
without sense or feeling, ran upon one another's backs, it 
not being possible to break by reason of the captains, which 
endeavoured by all means to stay them, but all in vain.' As 
soon as the ground allowed them, the soldiers broke in all 
directions, throwing away their arms and even their clothes. 
Captain Charles Montague, who had already done such good 
service at Blackwater, handled his troop of horse well, and, 
though wounded in several places, brought off all the colours, 
and covered the retreat of the few foot soldiers who retained 




Essex re- 
turns to 

any kind of order. Captain Wardman was killed, and this 
was the end of Essex's great scheme for the settlement of 
Leinster. 1 

At Waterford, the Lord-Lieutenant was ' received with two 
Latin orations, and with as much joyful concourse of people as 
any other town of Ireland.' He inspected the fort of Duncan - 
non, and Harrington, who amused himself in country quarters 
by reading books on fortification, and who hoped at coming 
home to talk of ' counterscarps and casemates,' shoots his wit 
at the expense of Sir John Norris in his capacity of engineer. 
Stripped of technicalities and Italian terms of art, the criticism 
is that the fort was too confined, and that it was commanded 
from the land side. The wit forgot that Irish rebels had 
no artillery, and did not notice that the course of the channel 
forced all ships of any size to come close under the walls. 
Against a Parma or a Spinola the defences would have 
availed little, but after-events proved that Duncannon was an 
important post in Irish warfare. Boats were brought from 
Carrick and New Boss, and the army was ferried over from 
Passage to Ballyhack. This proved a long operation, ' the 
boats not being great, and the carriage of our army far greater 
than ever heretofore in this country followed so few fighting 
men,' in which statement the reason of Essex's failure is perhaps 
contained. The line of march lay by Ballibrennan to a ford over 
the Slaney, between Enniscorthy and Ferns. The direct road to 
Dublin was by Carnew, but the Duffry was a land of woods and 
hills, swarming with rebels and practicable only for a fighting 
force ; whereas Essex could muster no more than 1,200 effec- 
tive men, clogged with hurt and sick, and with at least thrice 
as many churls, horseboys, and other like unserviceable people 
which were of necessity to be guarded.' It was, therefore, 
determined to go by the coast, and no enemy appeared until 
Gorey had been passed. From this, villages and houses were 
burned on both sides of the road 'to whet the rebels choler and 

1 The contemporary accounts are collected in Natio-nal MSS. of Ireland, 
part iv. i. app. xiv. Atherton's is the most minute. There is also a field- 
sketch made by Captain Montague. The Irish were not numerically 
stronger than Harrington's force. Loftus, who died at Wicklow for \\ant 
of a skilful surgeon, was the archbishop's son. 



courage,' who made a stand at a river four miles south of 

Essex himself passed the deep water with his horse, and 
Ormonde led the rest of the army over a better ford near the 
seaside. The Irish, who were about 1,000 strong, did not 
venture to close, but skirmished on the left flank, the broken 
ground being too far off for them to do much harm. Captain 
Lawrence Esmond was, however, killed. Essex endeavoured 
to draw the enemy down by masking a part of his force, but 
the natives, as Harrington observes, were not easily to be 
drawn into an ambuscade. Ormonde and Blount, with the 
head of the column, advanced to the seaside, hidden from 
the others by the shape of the ground. The Irish, being on the 
height, saw their advantage, and very nearly succeeded in cut- 
ting off the baggage train in the centre. A hard fight followed, 
and a charge of Southampton's horse just saved the army 
from a great disaster. Several of his men were bogged and 
in great danger. Captain Constable escaped with two 
wounds, and Mr. Seth Cox, ' a gentleman whose industry had 
adorned him with much both science and language ' was 
killed. Captain Roche, an Irishman by birth, who had 
long served the French king, had his leg shattered by a 

After some more fighting, the rebels were beaten off with 
the loss of 100 men. Donell Spaniagh, Phelim MacFeagh, 
and Owen MacRory were all present, and were willing to 
treat upon protection being granted. Essex sent word to 
Phelim that he might have a safe-conduct as far as Arklow if 
he would come and sue for mercy as a repentant rebel, but 
that a messenger sent for any other purpose would be hanged. 
Dublin was reached without further fighting, and the Irish 
annalists, with whom Harrington is in almost verbal agree- 
ment, may be left to sum up the results of the expedition. 
While the 'army was in Munster,' say the Four Masters, 
' the Geraldines continued to follow, pursue, and press upon 
them, to shoot at, wound, and slaughter them. When the Earl 
had arrived in the Decies, the Geraldines returned in exulta- 
tion and high spirits to their territories and houses. ... In 




HAP. Leinster they marched not by a prosperous progress, for the 

> , ^ Irish were pursuing and environing them, so that they slew 

great numbers in every road by which they passed . . . They 
said it would have been better for the Earl if he had not gone 
on this expedition, as he returned back without having re-* 
ceived submission or respect from the Geraldines, and without 
having achieved any exploit worth boasting of, excepting only 
the taking of Cahir. 1 

Severity of Essex lost no time in holding a court-martial on the officers 
and men of Harrington's force. Piers Walsh, Loftus's Irish 
lieutenant, who was certainly guilty of cowardice, and perhaps 
of treacherously communicating with the enemy, was shot ; 
all, or nearly all, the soldiers, had run away ; they were sen- 
tenced to be hanged, and were actually decimated. The 
other officers, ' though they forsook not their places assigned 
them, but were forsaken by the soldiers, yet because in such 
an extremity they did not something very extraordinary .... 
were all cashiered' and imprisoned. Harrington himself, being 
a Privy Councillor, was not tried, but was placed under arrest 
during her Majesty's pleasure. His thirty years' service were 
not forgotten in England, and he soon returned to his duty. 
The decimation was not approved of, and Wotton notes it as 
a piece of Roman discipline, and as an instance of Essex's 
tendency to severity. On the voyage to the Azores he had 
thrown a soldier overboard with his own hands. 2 

Dissatisfac- Instead of settling Leinster as announced, the Lord Lieu- 
EUzabeth tenant na d on ly succeeded in getting rid of his army. ' The 
poor men,' he wrote, ' that marched eight weeks together be 
very weary, and the horsemen so divided that I cannot draw 
300 to a head.' And still he promised to overthrow Tyrone, 
or be himself slain, if he could find him ' on hard ground and 
in an open country,' which he was as little likely to do as 
Glendower was to draw spirits from the vasty deep. There 
had been sharp letters about his making Southampton general 

1 Journal in Carerc, under July 1 ; Nugce Antique, i. 254, 259, and 
286-292 ; Dymmok's Treatise. Essex left Waterford June 22, and reached 
Dublin July 2. 

2 Essex to the Privy Council, July 11; Devereux, ii. 50-52; Fynes 
Moryson, part ii. lib. i. cap. i. ; Xuyce Antiques, i. 292: Reliquice Wottoniance. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 333 

of the horse. His commission gave him power to do this, but CHAP. 

the Queen had expressed her personal repugnance to such -- < ^ 

promotion. She disliked the formation of what, in later Irish 
history, has been called ' a family party.' Blount was Essex's 
stepfather, though about his own age, and Southampton had 
without leave married his cousin, Elizabeth Vernon, who was 
a maid of honour. Essex tried to maintain the appointment 
against the Queen's will, mainly on the ground that no volun- 
teer would adhere to him when thus discountenanced ; but 
Elizabeth said she did not see that Southampton's counsel 
or experience could be of any particular value, and refused 
to believe that ' the voluntary gentlemen are so discouraged 
thereby as they begin to desire passports and prepare to re- 
turn.' The Lord- Lieutenant had to submit, and Southamp- 
ton continued to serve as a volunteer. The account rendered 
for two months showed no great balance in the Queen's favour, 
and it is evident that she thought pretty much as the Irish 
did about the futility of the Munster journey. He had, she 
said, ' brought in never a capital rebel, against whom it had 
been worthy to have adventured 1,000 men ; for of these two 
comings in that were brought unto you by Ormonde (namely, 
Mountgarret and Oahir), whereupon ensued the taking of 
Cahir Castle, full well do we know that you would long since 
have scorned to have allowed it for any great matter in others 
to have taken an Irish hold from a rabble of rogues with such 
force as you had, and with the help of the cannon, which was 
always able in Ireland to make his passage where it pleased.' 1 

Before the end of May Cecil knew that Essex intended Essex on 
to visit Munster, so as to make things safe there before going hls defence< 
to the North, and he expresses no opinion on the subject. 
But the Queen soon grew uneasy, and complained that she 
was giving the Earl 1,OOOL a day to make progresses with. 
When the results of two months' expenditure were known, 
her indignation burst forth. Nothing had been done but 
what President Norris might have done as well, and she was 
especially displeased ' that it must be the Queen of England's 

1 Privy Council to Essex, June 10; Essex to the Privy Council, July 11 ; 
the Queen to Essex, July 19. 


CHAP, fortune (who hath held down the greatest enemy she had) to 

> -, '- make a base Irish kerne to be accounted so famous a rebel.' 

Ireland was in a state worse than that in which Ormonde had 
left it, and Tyrone was announcing to continental nations 
' defeats of regiments, deaths of captains, and loss of men of 
quality in every corner.' Essex entrusted regiments to young 
gentlemen, and made such a fuss that the rebels were always 
fully prepared. This was just criticism, and indeed the Earl's 
own story tallies with it. He provides the excuse also, but 
he had only found out what was known to hundreds of officers 
who had served in Ireland. The rebels, he said, were much 
more numerous than the soldiers, and for light warfare they 
were both naturally more active and better trained to fight. 
The Queen's gallant officers and gentlemen of quality did 
more good than all the rest, and the real difficulty was to 
restrain their ardour, whereas the rebel leaders ' dare never 
put themselves to any hazard, but send their kerne and their 
hirelings to fight with her Majesty's troops.' English officers 
with cavalry could always win in the open, and towns were 
in no danger ; but in bogs and woods he was loth to ' wager 
the lives of noblemen and gentlemen a.gainst rogues and 
naked beggars. ' 

These were the commonplaces of Irish warfare since 
Surrey's and Skeffington's days, and Essex was learning his 
lesson at an enormous cost. 1 

Campaign The Lord-Lieutenant was ill, of the malady which nearly 

trah* and P rove( i f^al ln * ne following year, and the results of over- 
work and failure were not lessened by rebukes from the 
Queen. An intended expedition into Leix and Offaly was 
noticed by her as unworthy of his rank, but yet he deter- 
mined to go. Blount was first sent to victual Maryborough, 
and the sergeant-major to Philipstown. Captain William 
Williams commanded at the latter place, and he had just lost 
60 men by allowing them to fall into an ambuscade. There 
was no difficulty in relieving the forts, but when Essex him- 

1 Essex to the Privy Council, May 21, MS. Hatfield ; Cecil to Sir H. 
Neville, May 23, in Winwood's Memorials ; Chamberlain's Letters, June 10 ; 
Essex to the Queen, June 25, in Moryson; the Queen to Essex, July 19. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 335 

self followed, he had some sharp fighting on the border ot 
Westmeath. The Irish were commanded by Captain Tyrrell, 
a noted English or Anglo-Irish partisan in Tyrone's pay, who 
always kept 200 men with him. In days long gone by, the 
Anglo-Norman Tyrrells had drive n the O'Dooleys from Far- 
tullagh, and now they were in arms against the Queen of 
England's representative. Sir Conyers Clifford came from 
Connaught, to meet the Lord-Lieutenant, and his horsemen 
fought bravely on foot in a country where there was no place 
for cavalry. 'In all this journey,' says Harrington, who came 
with the Connaught troops, ' I was comrade to the Earl of 
Kildare, and slept both on one pillow every night for the 
most part ; here at the parting, my lord gave Sir Griffin 
Markham great commendations, and made him colonel and 
commander of all the horse in Connaught ; and gave me and 
some others the honour of knighthood in the field.' 

Clifford lost many men before effecting the juncture, and 
yet the natives were so completely surprised that they had no 
time even to hide their children. Many hundred cows were 
taken, but the result of the expedition was that Essex re- 
turned to Dublin and Clifford to Connaught. 1 

At the beginning of August, the Irish Council demanded Anger of 
2,000 fresh men for the expedition to the North, but before 
an answer came, they declared that nothing could be done for 
the year. It is difficult to say how far this inconsistency was 
caused by the fluctuations of Essex's own temper, but it was 
clear that he did not inspire confidence. The Queen granted 
the reinforcements, while severely criticising the conduct of 
both Lord-Lieutenant aud Council. She had been repeatedly 
told, and could very well believe, that a garrison at Lough 
Foyle was the chief thing needful. ' We doubt not,' she said, 
' but to hear by the next that it is begun and not in question. 
In the meantime the garrisons in Connaught and Munster and 
in the midland forts seemed scarcely able to maintain them- 

1 Dymmok's Treatise, p. 43 ; Nugce Antiques, i. 255 ; the Queen to Essex, 
July 19 and Aug. 10. Harrington's comrade was Gerald, fourteenth Earl 
of Kildare. The ' sergeant-major ' was either Captain Richard Cuny or 
Captain George Flower. 



The cheap 
defence of 

Defeat of 
Sir Conyers 

selves. ' We can hope of no success,' she said sarcastically, 
' than to be able to keep our towns which were never lost, and 
some petty holds of small importance, with more than three 
parts of our army, it being decreed for the head of the rebel- 
lion, that our forces shall not find our way this year to behold 
him.' She could not understand how no more than 5,000 
men were available, instead of at least double that number ; 
and, indeed, it is not easy to understand even now. And 
there were other things to make her angry. Essex had been 
specially ordered to make no knights except for some striking 
service, and he now made no less than fifty-nine, without 
having anything to show for it. The court news-writer, from 
whom we learn so much, notes that he had begun by dozens 
and scores, and had now fallen to ' huddle them up by half- 
hundreds ; and it is noted as a strange thing, that a subject, 
in the course of seven or eight years, should, upon so little 
service and small desert, make more knights than in all the 
realm besides ; and it is doubted, that if he continues this 
course, he will shortly bring in tag and rag, cut and long-tail, 
and so bring the order into contempt.' 1 

It may be doubtful whether Essex intended again to take 
the dilatory advice of his Council, or whether he would have 
been stung into action by the Queen's taunts. A great disaster 
seems to have finally determined him, though it should 
probably have had the contrary effect. O'Connor Sligo had 
been with Essex in Munster, whence he returned to Collooney, 
the only castle which he had preserved from O'Donnell, and 
where he was at once beleaguered by him. Essex ordered 
Clifford to relieve him and to occupy Sligo, by which means 
he hoped to distract Tyrone's attention. Clifford, with a force 
of something under 2,000 men, went to Boyle, and, in spite 
of the Lord Lieutenant's caution against over-confidence, re- 
solved to pass the Curlew mountains without resting his men, 
after two days' march in the hot harvest weather. He does 
not seem to have expected any opposition, but O'Donnell had 
been watching the pass for weeks, and had given orders that 

1 The Queen to the Lord Lieutenant and Council, Aug. 10 in Carcrv ; 
Chamberlain's Letters, Aug. 23. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 337 

the army should be allowed to eret well on to the mountain CHAP. 

before they were attacked. The Irish scouts saw them leave , ^ 

the abbey of Boyle, so that there was plenty of time for 
O'Donnell to bring up his forces. On arriving at the 
narrowest part of the pass between Boyle and Ballinafad, 
Clifford found it strongly defended by a breastwork, and held 
by 400 men, who fired a volley, and then fell back. The road 
np the mountain, which consisted of ' stones six or seven foot 
broad, lying above ground, with plashes of bog between 
them,' ran through boggy woods, from which the Irish galled 
the soldiers, who exhausted their powder with little effect. 
Sir Alexander Radclyffe, commanding the advance guard, was 
mortally wounded, and as no reinforcement came up, a panic 
ensued, and the whole array were driven pell-mell back to 
Boyle. Sir John Mac Swiney, an Irish officer in the Queen's 
service, faced the enemy almost alone, cursing the vileness of 
his men, and ' died fighting, leaving the example of his virtue 
to be intituled by all honourable posterities.' Only the 
horse under Sir Griffin Markham behaved well, covering the 
retreat and charging boldly up hill ' among rocks and bogs, 
where never horse was seen to charge before.' Markham had 
his arm broken by a shot, and Sir Conyers Clifford was killed Death of 
while trying to rally his men. Harrington thought the imagi- 
nation of the soldiers was bewitched, and cites the extraordi- 
nary escape of Eory Oge from his cousin Sir Henry in 1577, 
when they thought ' he had, by magic, compelled them not to 
touch him ' ; but this panic is easily explained by the moral 
effect of recent defeats. So far as Ireland went, people were 
losing their faith in Elizabeth's star. 1 

O'Rourke, who remained in possession of the field, cut off Effects of 
Clifford's head and sent it to O'Donnell, and MacDerniot, in disaster. 
a letter which Harrington very justly characterised as ' bar- 

1 Dymmok's Treatise, p. 44 ; Nugce Antique, i. 255-257 and 264-268 ; 
Four Masters. Harrington was present, and Dymmok's account is from 
those who were. O'Sullivan Bere says the English lost 1,400 men, but 
Harrington says Clifford's whole force hardly amounted to that number. 
O'Donnell, though not far off, took no actual part in the fight. H. Cull'e 
to E. Reynolds, Aug. 11, MS. Naff eld, written when the bad news was 
quite fresh. 

VOL. 111. Z 


CHAP, barous for the Latin, but civil for the sense,' announced that, 


, ^ for the love he bore the governor, he had carried his headless 
trunk to the neighbouring monastery of Lough Ce. He was 
ready to exchange it for his own prisoners or to give it decent 
burial himself, and he would offer no obstacle to the burial 
of other officers. ' The Irish of Connaught,' say the Four 
Masters, ' were not pleased at the Governor's death, for he had 
been a bestower of jewels and riches upon them, and he had 
never told them a falsehood.' The same authorities say the 
Irish did not attribute their victory to arms, but to the miracle 
of the Lord and to the special intercession of the Blessed 
Mary. Nor was superstition confined to the victorious party, 
for not only did the English soldiers talk of magic, but Clif- 
ford himself was said to have prophetically dreamed of his 
capture by O'Donnell, and of being carried by monks into 
their convent. The defeat was particularly disastrous, because 
Clifford's troops were not raw recruits, as Harrington's had 
been. Essex determined to employ them no more, except to 
defend walls. The immediate result of the battle was that 
O'Connor Sligo submitted to Tyrone, and became a loyal sub- 
ject of the real king of Ireland. 1 

A council Essex's first and natural impulse was ' to revenge or follow 

deci.iesto worthy Conyers Clifford,' but others thought that very little 
Jing< could be done. In early spring it had been decided to wait 
till the summer, and now in harvest-time the season for 
fighting was considered to be past. Again the General placed 
his fate in the hands of a council of war, and again his 
advisers resolved to do nothing. ' The Lords, Colonels, and 
Knights of the army,' as they style themselves, declared that 
there were less than 4,000 men available for a campaign, that 
many soldiers deserted to the rebels, ran away to England, 
feigned sickness, or hid themselves. The uniform ill-success 
of the Queen's arniy had lately been such that her troops had 
no heart for the Ulster enterprise, and it was certain that they 

1 Four Masters; MacDermot's letter is in Dymmok; Essex's instruc- 
tions for Dillon, Savage, and Dunkellin in Carew, Aug. 10. Dymmok gives 
Aug. 15 as the date of Clifford's death, but it must have been a week 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 339 

would be greatly outnumbered by the rebels. 'The Con- CHAP. 

naught army consisting of a great part of old companies being , '* 

lately defeated,' there was no chance of establishing a post at 
Lough Foyle, and in any case there were not men enough to 
garrison it, and the same would apply still more strongly to 
Armagh and Blackwater, whither provisions could not be 
brought by sea. For these reasons, and being thoroughly aware 
of the state of the army, the officers declared against any journey 
far north. ' In which resolution,' they say, ' if any man sus- 
pected it proceeded of weakness or baseness, we will not only 
in all likely and profitable service disprove him, but will every 
one of us deal with his life, that we dissuaded this undertaking 
with more duty than any man could persuade unto it.' The 
Queen was very angry with the Lord Lieutenant for calling in 
' so many of those that are of so slender judgment, and none 
of our council,' to keep men from censuring his proceedings, 
and there can be little doubt that it was a weak device to shift 
the responsibility. Seven days after the officers' declaration, 
Essex left Dublin, resolved to go as far and do as much ' as 
duty would warrant, and God enable him.' This meant that 
he would fight Tyrone if the arch-rebel would forego his 
advantage of position and come out to battle. ' If he have 
as much courage as he pretendeth, we will, on one side or the 
other, end the war.' He had come to see that the ' beating of 
Tyrone in the field ' depended upon the good pleasure of that 
chief, and it would have been well for his fame had he mas- 
tered that elementary truth before he undertook to censure 
better soldiers and wiser men than himself. 1 

Essex left Dublin on August 28, with the intention of Essex goes 
placing a garrison at Donaghmoyne in Farney. That land north, 
of lakes and hills was his own inheritance by the Queen's 
patent to his father, and he may have had some idea of 
securing his own as well as of annoying Tyrone. He tra- 
velled through Navan and Kells, and at Castle Reran, beyond 

1 Essex to the Queen, soon after Aug. 15, in Devereux, ii. 56, and two 
other letters at p. 67. The officers' declaration is at p. 55, where the names 
of the signataries are given. They fairly justify the Queen's stricture in 
her letter of Sept. 14. 

z 2 



Tyrone in 


the latter town, he mustered an army of 3.700 foot and 300 
horse. But the idea of establishing an outpost either in 
Monaghan or Cavan was quickly abandoned for three reasons, 
any of which would have been ample by itself. It was not 
worth doing, since there was nothing to defend beyond Kells. 
It could not be done, because it would be impossible to bring 
provisions on horseback from Drogheda. Last and not least, 
Tyrone was in Farney, ready to burn the Pale up to Dublin 
gates as soon as the Lord Lieutenant's rearguard had passed. 
It was resolved that Kells should be the frontier garrison, 
and the army marched to Ardee. The camp was so placed that 
Tyrone's could be seen on the other side of the Lagan, and there 
was some small skirmishing when a party was sent down to 
cut firewood near the river. Next day Essex advanced to 
the Mills of Louth, and encamped on the left bank of the 
Lagan. Tyrone made a flank march at the same time, and 
the two armies were quite close together, the Irish keeping 
the woods, though 10,000 or 11,000 strong. Sir William 
Warren, who was used to treating with Tyrone, went to seek 
the enlargement of a prisoner, and next day Henry O'Hagan 
came to ask for a parley. ' If thy master,' Essex is reported 
to have said, ' have any confidence either in the justness of 
his cause, or in the goodness and number of his men, or in 
his own virtue, of all which he vainly glorieth, he will meet 
me in the field so far advanced before the head of his kerne 
as myself shall be separated from the front of my troops, 
where we will parley in that fashion which best becomes 
soldiers.' Vainglory there was, but rather upon the challen- 
ger's own side ; it was as a general, and not as a champion, 
that Elizabeth had sent her favourite to Ireland. 1 

Next day Essex offered battle, which of course was re- 
fused by the enemy, but Tyrone again sent to desire a parley. 
A garrison was placed at Newrath near the mill of Louth, 
and on the following day the army marched towards Drum- 
condra. They had scarcely gone a mile when O'Hagan came 

1 Dymmok's Treatise ; Journal in Carew, No. 315. The two accounts sub- 
stantially agree. It was the hereditary privilege of O'Hagan to inaugurate 
O Neill. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 341 

again, and ' speaking,' like Rabshakeh, { so loud as all might CHAP. 

hear that were present,' announced that Tyrone ' desired her , ^ 

Majesty's mercy, and that the Lord Lieutenant would hear 
him ; which, if his lordship agreed to, he would gallop about 
and meet him at the ford of Bellaclinthe, which was on the 
right hand by the way which his lordship took to Drum- 
condra.' Essex sent two officers to see the place, who reported 
that the ford was too wide for the purpose ; but Tyrone, who 
knew the ground, found a spot ' where he, standing up to his 
horse's belly, might be near enough to be heard by the Lord 
Lieutenant, though he kept to the hard ground. . . . Seeing 
Tyrone there alone, his lordship went down alone. At whose 
coming Tyrone saluted his lordship with much reverence, 
and they talked above half-an-hour together, and after went 
either of them to their companies on the hills.' Of all the 
foolish things Essex ever did, this was the most foolish. By \y 
conversing with the arch-rebel without witnesses he left it 
open to his enemies to put the worst construction on all he 
did, and he put it out of his own power to offer any valid 
defence. Two days before he had declared war to the knife, 
and now he was ready to talk familiarly with his enemy, and 
practically to concede all without striking a blow. A more 
formal meeting followed with six witnesses on each side. 
Tyrone's were his brother Cormac MacBaron, Magennis, 
Maguire, Ever MacCowley, Henry Ovington, and Richard 
Owen, ' that came from Spain, but is an Irishman by birth.' 
Southampton, St. Leger, and four other officers of rank 
accompanied the Lord Lieutenant. By way of humility, the 
Irish party rode into the river, ' almost to their horse's bellies,' 
while Essex and his followers kept on the bank. Tyrone 
spoke uncovered, saluting the viceregal party ' with a great 
deal of respect,' and it was arranged that a further conference 
should take place next morning. Essex continued his march 
to Drumcondra, but Tyrone came himself to the place of 
meeting a ford where the Lagan bridge now stands. Wotton 
was one of the commissioners on the Lord Lieutenant's part, and retires 
and it is not likely that the negotiation suffered in his hands, fi 
He was chosen as the fittest person ' to counterpoise the 




The Queen 

sharpness of Henry Ovington's wit.' The result was a 
cessation of arms for six weeks to six weeks until May, either 
side being at liberty to break it on giving fourteen days' 
notice. If any of Tyrone's allies refused to be bound, the 
Lord Lieutenant was left at liberty to attack them. To save 
Essex's honour it was agreed to that his ratification should 
be by word simply, but that Tyrone's should be on oath 
Next day the Lord Lieutenant went to take physic at 
Drogheda, and Tyrone retired with all his forces into the 
heart of his country, having gained without fighting a greater 
victory than that of the Yellow Ford. Bagenal was defeated, 
the Earl of Essex was disgraced ; one had lost his life, the 
other his reputation. 1 

' If these wars end by treaty,' Wotton had said on his 
first arrival, ' the Earl of Tyrone must be very humble.' 
But the wars were ended so far as Essex was concerned, and 
the rebels had conceded nothing. A week before his meeting 
with Tyrone, Essex had written to the Queen, warning her to 
expect nothing from a man weary of life, whose past services 
had been requited by ' banishment and proscription into the 
most cursed of all countries,' and almost suggesting that he 
meditated suicide as the only means of escape. Nor were 
Elizabeth's letters such as to encourage him. He had dis- 
appointed the world's expectation, and his actions had been 
contrary to her orders, ' though carried in such sort as we 
were sure to have no time to countermand them.' ' Before 
your departure,' she wrote, ' no man's counsel was held sound 
which persuaded not presently the main prosecution in 
Ulster ; all was nothing without that, and nothing was too 
much for that.' An army and a summer had been wasted, 

1 Journal in Carem and Dymmok vt gup. Moryson and Camden 
closely agree. The chronology is as follows : Essex leaves Dublin Aug. 28 ; 
musters at Castle Kieran, Aug. 31 ; between Robinstown and Newcastle, 
Sept. 2 ; Ardee, Sept. 3 ; Mills of Louth, Sept. 4 ; O'Hagan's first overtures, 
Sept. 5 ; the meeting at Bellaclinthe, Sept. 7 ; cessation concluded, Sept. 8 ; 
Essex goes to Drogheda, Sept. 9. See also Shirley's MonagJian, p. 104. 
There is a story told somewhere that Tyrone spoke much of religion, and 
that Essex answered, ' Go to, thou carest as much for religion as my horse.' 
The original articles of cessation, elated Sept. 8 and signed Hugh Tyrone, 
are at Hatfield. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 343 

and nothing had been done. The only way of accounting CHAP. 

for the way in which the available troops had dwindled from , '-> 

19,000 to less than 4,000 was by supposing that he had 
dispersed them in unnecessary garrisons, ' especially since, 
by your continual report of the state of every province, you 
describe them all to be in worse condition than ever they 
were before you put foot in that kingdom.' He had con- 
demned all his predecessors, he had had everything he asked 
for, and he had done worse that anyone. Two days after the 
despatch of this letter Elizabeth received the account of the 
truce with Tyrone, which she promptly characterised as the 
' quick end made of a slow proceeding.' She had never 
doubted that Tyrone would be ready to parley ' specially 
with our supreme general of the kingdom, having often 
done it with those of subaltern authority ; always seeking 
these cessations with like words, like protestations.' She 
blamed Essex severely for his private interview not, she 
was careful to say, that she suspected treason ; ' yet both for ' 
comeliness, example, and your own discharge, we marvel you 
would carry it no better.' He had neglected her orders and 
sheltered himself systematically behind a council which had 
already wrapped Ireland in calamities. If she had intended 
to leave all to them, it was ' very superfluous to have sent 
over such a personage as yourself.' His despatches were as 
meagre as his actions, and he had told her nothing of what 
passed between him and Tyrone, nor of his instructions to 
the commissioners, so that ' we cannot tell, but by divination, 
what to think may be the issue of this proceeding .... to 
trust this traitor upon oath is to trust a devil upon his re- . 
ligion. To trust him upon pledges is a mere illusory . . . . 
unless he yield to have garrisons planted in his own country and lie 
to master him, and to come over to us personally here.' The Jand'whh'-" 
letter concluded with a positive order not to ratify the truce, out k ' avc - 
nor to grant a pardon without further authority from herself, 
' after he had particularly advised by writing.' One week 
after the date of the letter Essex left Ireland, in spite of the """ 
most stringent orders not to do so without a special warrant. 1 
1 Essex to the Queen, Aug. 30, from Arclbraccun ; the Queen to Essex. 



Some account of Tyrone, as he appeared among his own 
people near Dunkalk, has been fortunately preserved in a 
T 1 ^. ';* 6 . 1 ] 1 letter from Sir John Harrington, who was at once a keen 

in his hold. 

observer and a lively writer, and who had already seen him 
at Ormonde's house in London. Tyrone apologised for not 
remembering him personally, and said that the troubles had 
made him almost forget his friends. While the Earl was in 
private conversation with Sir William Warren, Harrington 
amused himself by ' posing his two sons in their learning, 
and their tutors, which were one Friar Nangle, a Franciscan, 
and a younger scholar, whose name I know not ; and finding 
the two children of good towardly spirit, their age between 
thirteen and fifteen, in English clothes like a nobleman's 
sons ; with velvet jerkins and gold lace ; of a good cheerful 
aspect, freckle-faced, not tall of stature, but strong and well- 
set ; both of them speaking the English tongue ; I gave them 
(not without the advice of Sir William Warren) my English 
translation of Ariosto, which I got at Dublin ; which their 
teachers took very thankfully, and soon after shewed it to the 
Earl, who called to see it openly, and would needs hear some 
part of it read. I turned (as it had been by chance) to the 
beginning of the forty-fifth canto, and some other passages 
of the book, which he seemed to like so well that he solemnly 
swore his boys should read all the book over to him.' Har- 
rington was not insensible to flattery of this sort, for he has 
recorded the reception of his work at Galway and its soothing 
effect upon ' a great lady, a young lady, and a fair lady ' who 
had been jilted by Sir Calisthenes Brooke ; but it did not 
prevent him from afterwards calling Tyrone a damnable 
rebel. It was O'Neill's cue to speak fairly, and he took occa- 
sion to say that he had seen his visitor's cousin, Sir Henry, 
in the field, and that he must have been wrongly accused of 
misconduct in the fight near Wicklow. Tyrone deplored his 
own hard life,' comparing himself to wolves, that fill their 

Sept. 14 and 17 all printed by Devereux. On March 27, Essex had licence 
at his own request ' to return to her Majesty's presence at such times as he 
shall find cause,' but this was revoked by her letter of July 30. Sir H. 
Wotton to E. Reynolds, April 19, MS. Itatfield. 

,ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 345 

bellies sometimes, and fast as long for it ; ' but he was merry CHAP 

- J\ 1 j \ I I 1 . 

at dinner, and seemed rather pleased when Harrington worsted , ' 

one of his priests in an argument. ' There were fern tables 
and fern forms, spread under the stately canopy of heaven. 
His guard for the most part were beardless boys without 
shirts, who, in the frost, wade as familiarly through rivers as 
water-spaniels. With what charms such a master makes them 
love him I know not ; but if he bid come, they come ; if go, 
they do go ; if he say do this, they do it.' He made peaceable 
professions, and spoke much about freedom of conscience ; but 
Harrington perceived that his only object was to temporise, 
and l one pretty thing I noted, that the paper being drawn 
for him to sign, and his signing it with O'Neill, Sir William 
(though with very great difficulty) made him to new write it 
and subscribe Hugh Tyrone.' l 

The only possible excuse for Essex's leaving Ireland Essex 

* . deseit-ihis 

against orders was the Queen's last direction to ' advise by post ( Sep- 
writing ' the progress of his negotiations with Tyrone. He 
had given a promise a foolish and rash promise that he 
would ' only verbally deliver ' the conditions demanded by 
the arch-rebel. A letter to Sir John Morris had been sent 
into Spain, and Tyrone refused to open his heart if writing 
was to be used. Essex could, however, refer to the instruc- 
tions given by him to Warren, and in any case he might 
have waited until her Majesty had expressed her opinion as 
to his promise of secrecy. After all, the most probable sup- 
position is that he was sick of Ireland, that he felt his own 
failure, and that he hoped to reassert over the Queen that 
power which absence had so evidently weakened. He swore in 
Archbishop Loftus and Sir George Carey as Lords Justices, 

1 Harrington to Justice Carey in Nvgat Antiques, i. 247. Park gives 
April as the date of this letter, but this is disproved by internal evidence, 
and it certainly belongs to October. See also ib. pp. 260 and 340. War- 
ren's own account of his ' second journey to the Earl of Tyrone,' is dated 
Oct. 20. The first lines of the 45th canto of Harrington's translation of 
Orlando are : 

Look how much higher Fortune doth erect 

The climbing wight on her unstable wheel, 

So much the higher may a man expect 

To see his head where late he saw his heel, &c. 




His recep- 
tion at 

tions with 

Ormonde remaining in command of the army under his old 
commission, and charged them all to keep the cessation pre- 
cisely, but to stand on their guard and to have all garrisons 
fully victualled for six months. He sailed the same day, 
and travelled post, with the evident intention of himself an- 
nouncing his departure from Ireland. Having embarked on 
the 24th, he reached London very early on the 28th, hurried to 
the ferry between Westminster and Lambeth, and appropriated 
the horses which he found waiting there. Lord Grey de 
Wilton, who had not forgiven his arrest, was in front, and it 
was proposed by Sir Thomas Gerrard that he should let the 
Earl pass him. ' Doth he desire it ? ' said Lord Grey. ' No,' 
was the answer, c nor will he, I think, ask anything at your 
hands.' { Then,' said his lordship, ' I have business at Court.' 
He hurried on to Nonsuch, and went straight to Cecil. 1 
Essex arrived only a quarter of an hour later, and although 
' so full of dirt and mire that his very face was full of it,' 
made his way at once to the Queen's bedchamber. It was 
ten o'clock, and Elizabeth was an early riser, but on this 
occasion she was 'newly up, the hair about her face.' He fell 
on his knees and kissed her hands, and the goodness of his 
reception was inferred from his own words that, ' though he 
had suffered much trouble and storm abroad, he found a sweet 
calm at home.' He dressed, and at eleven had another audi- 
ence, which lasted an hour. Still all went well. The Queen 
was gracious, and the courtiers as yet saw no reason to stand 
aloof; but Cecil and his friends were thought to be rather cold. 
Elizabeth was evidently glad to see her favourite, and for 
a moment forgot his real position. The first meeting of the 
Privy Council dispelled the illusion, and on the 1st of October 
he was committed to the custody of Lord-Keeper Egerton. 2 

It was very uncertain as to what would be the conse- 
quences of Essex's escapade, and those who were left in charge 
could only temporise as best they might. In about two 

1 Sir Christopher St. Lawrence, according to Camden, offered his ser- 
vices to kill both the peer and the secretary. 

2 Letters from Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney in Sidney Payers, 
ii. 117, 127, from Sept, 19 to Oct. 2; Essex's delation, written by him 
during his imprisonment. 

ESSEX IN IRELAND, 1599. 347 

months Sir William Warren had three separate parleys with CHAP. 

Tyrone, and in each case it was the English diplomatist that >- , 

urged a continuance of the cessation of arms. Tyrone, who 
had his immediate followers extraordinarily well in hand, 
seems to have kept the truce, and he had reasons to complain 
of injuries done him by the English party. In the paralysis 
of government outrage upon the borders could scarcely be 
avoided, and Tyrone's allies were less steady than himself. 
' In all the speeches,' Warren wrote, ' passed between him 
and me, he seemed to stand chiefly upon a general liberty of 
religion throughout the kingdom. I wished him to demand 
some other thing reasonable to be had from her Majesty, for 
I told him that I thought her Majesty would no more yield 
to that demand than she would give her crown from her 
head.' Warren laughed at a letter addressed to Lord O'Neill 
Chief Lieutenant of Ireland. 1 1 asked him,' he says, ' to 
whom the devil he could be Lieutenant. He answered me, 
Why should I not be a Lieutenant as well as the Earl of 
Ormonde.' The reasoning is not very clear, and it seems at 
least probable that many regarded him as the Pope's viceroy. 
In making James Fitzthomas an earl he had greatly exceeded 
even the most ample viceregal powers. From the meeting 
with Essex to the date at which he resolved to begin fighting 
again, his official letters are signed Hugh Tyrone, but on 
November 8 he gave Warren fourteen days' notice to conclude 
the truce, on the ground of injuries done him by Thomond 
and Clanricarde. That letter and those succeeding it, with 
one significant exception, he signs as O'Neill. In repeating 
the notice to Ormonde he says, ( I wish you command your 
secretary to be more discreet and to use the word Traitor as 
seldom as he may. By chiding there is little gotten at 
my hands, and they that are joined with me fight for the 
Catholic religion, and liberties of our country, the which I 
protest before God is my whole intention. In all these 
negotiations Tyrone professes to rely entirely upon Essex to 
see justice done, and declares war 'first of all for having seven 
score of my men killed by the Earl of Ormonde in time of 
cessation, besides divers others of the Geraldines, who were 


CHAP, slain by the Earl of Kildare. Another cause is because I 

, ' made my agreement only with your lordship, in whom I 

had my only confidence, who, as I am given to under- 
stand, is now restrained from your liberty, for what cause I 
know not.' And this letter, being intended for English con- 
sumption, is signed Hugh Tyrone. Immediately after writing 
it he again took the field. 1 

Amount of 'The conditions demanded by Tyrone,' says Essex himself, 
mitabie to ' I was fain to give my word that I would only verbally 
deliver.' The consequence was that there is not and cannot 
be any absolutely authentic statement of those conditions. 
There is, however, a paper printed in a collection of repute, 
and immediately after one of Cecil's letters, which professes 
to be a statement of c Tyrone's Propositions, 1599.' The 
Queen herself says that Essex, on his return, acquainted her 
with Tyrone's offers, but in so confused a manner as could only 
be explained by supposing that ' the short time of their con- 
ference made him not fully conceive the particular meaning of 
Tyrone in divers of those articles.' What probably happened 
was that Tyrone talked big, and that when Essex came to think 
over it afterwards, he could not clearly distinguish between 
extreme claims which had been mentioned, and serious pro- 
posals which had been made. But the 16th article in ' Tyrone's 
Propositions ' is clearly not invented by the writer, who was 
probably hostile to Essex. It demands ' that O'Neill, O'Don- 
nell, Desmond, and their partakers, shall have such lands as 
their ancestors enjoyed 200 years ago.' Whether Tyrone ever 
demanded any such thing is doubtful, but it is certain that 
this, or something very like it, was what Essex told the Queen. 
' Tyrone's offers,' she says, ' are both full of scandal to our 
realm, and future peril in the State. What would become of 
all Munster, Leix, and Offaly, if all the ancient exiled rebels 

1 The letter to Essex is of Nov. 22, and with seventeen others belonging 
to the last three months of 1599, is printed by Mr. Gilbert in App. 16 to 
National Manuscripts, Ireland, part iv. 1. In a letter of Nov. 6, to the 
Lords Justices, Lord Lieutenant (Ormonde), and Council, the Queen approves 
of the slaughter by Ormonde ' in revenge of that that brake the cessation 
in Wexford. ... do not irritate nor oppress any such as have submitted 
... in respect of any private unkindness of your own.' 



be restored to all that our laws and hereditary succession have 
bestowed upon us?' And again, ' we will not assent in other 
provinces [than Ulster] to the restitution of all traitors to 
their livings, or the displantation of our subjects that have 
spent their lives in the just defences of their possessions 
which they have taken and held from us or our ancestors.' 
It is quite evident then that Essex actually laid before Eliza- 
beth a proposal which involved the reversal of every attainder 
and the expropriation of all settlers upon forfeited lands. After 
this it hardly seems worth discussing matters of commerce, or 
proposals that Englishmen should be debarred from all pre- 
ferment in Church and State in Ireland, while all statutes 
prejudicing the preferment of Irishmen in England should be 
repealed.' l 

Liberty of conscience was what Tyrone continually asked 
for, but not what he or his friends were prepared to grant. 
He undertook generally to ' plant the Catholic faith through- 
out Ireland,' and when did Rome bear a rival near her throne ? 
In a letter to the King of Spain he acknowledged his object 
to be the ' extirpation of heresy,' and recalcitrant chiefs were 
reminded that present ruin and eternal damnation would be 
their lot if they did not help to ' erect the Catholic religion.' 
Jesuits boasted that his victories had already made it im- 
possible for Protestants to live in certain districts. Tyrone 
claimed personal inviolability for priests, and treated the 
imprisonment of one as a breach of the cessation. In the 
paper already discussed he is said to have demanded that 
the Catholic religion should be openly preached, the churches 
governed by the Pope, cathedrals restored, Irish priests re- 

1 'Tyrone's Propositions, 1599' are in Win wood's Memorials, i. 118, 
immediately after Cecil's letter of Oct. 8 to Neville, and are reprinted by 
Spedding and Abbott. The letter does not mention any enclosure. In 
Bacon and Essex, pp. 134-148, Dr. Abbott endeavours, not very successfully, 
I think, to show that the document is entirely unworthy of credit. It is, 
however, not called 'Essex's propositions,' but 'Tyrone's,' and I have shown 
that the most outrageous part of it was regarded by the Queen as a serious 
proposal. Essex should have broken off the conference at the mere mention 
of such a thing. Sidney would have done so, or Norris, or Mountjoy. The 
Queen's letters to Fenton and to the Lords Justices, &c., are of Nov. 5 
and 6. 

meant by 


leased from prison and left free to come and go over sea, and 
that no Englishmen should be churchmen in Ireland. The 
article about the release of clerical prisoners is just such a 
coincidence as Paley would have urged in proof that ' Tyrone's 
Propositions ' form a genuine document. But here again it is 
probable that this was only laid before the Queen as Tyrone's 
extreme claim, and that Essex gave her some reason to sup- 
pose that he would be satisfied with less. ' For any other 
personal coming of himself,' she wrote, ' or constraint in 
religion, we can be content, for the first, that he may know he 
shall not be peremptorily concluded, and in the second that 
we leave to God, who knows best how to work his will in 
these things, by means more fit than violence, which doth 
rather obdurate than reform. And, therefore, as in that case 
he need not to dread us, so we intend not to bind ourselves 
further for his security than by our former course we have 
witnessed; who have not used rigour in that point, even 
when we might with more probability have forced others.' l 

1 The Queen to the Lords Justices, &c. Nov. 6 ; Tyrone to Warren, 
Dec. 25 ; to the King of Spain, Dec. 31 ; to Lord Barry and others, Feb. 
1600, in Car em. On Feb. 13, 1600, the Vicar Apostolic Hogan told Lord 
Barry he had ' received an excommunication from the Pope against all 
those that doth not join in this Catholic action.' James Archer, S.J., in a 
letter of Aug. 10, 1598, printed in Hibernia Ignatiana, p. 39, informs 
Aquaviva of ' f requentes Catholicorum victorias, unde fit ut haeretici ex 
multis locis migrare cogantur.' For Henry Fitzimon, S. J., the priest of 
whose imprisonment Tyrone complained, see his Life by Rev. E. Hogan, S. J., 
p. 209. ' I never went to Tyrone,' Warren wrote to Cecil, on Dec. 24, 1599, 
' but I was forced to bribe bis Friars and Jesuits.' 




In October 1599 the government of Ireland was offered to CHAP. 


Mountjoy, who refused it. He may have thought that Essex - , '- 
would have to go back, or he may have been unwilling to vwnment 

leave Lady Rich. But in the following month he was never- 
theless ordered to be ready within twenty days. It became 
evident that Essex would not be employed again ; he made 
Moimtjoy and Southampton guardians of his interests, and 
for his sake they both went perilously near to treason. 
Mountjoy undertook the thankless office with a heavy heart. 
He told the Queen that everyone of his predecessors had 
without exception been blamed, and that there was no one 
in Ireland whom he could trust. Very unjustly, he included 
even Ormonde in this sweeping censure. It was Raleigh 
who had insisted that he should be appointed, and the Queen 
listened chiefly to him about Irish affairs. ' This employment 
of me is by a private man that never knew what it was to 
divide public and honourable ends from his own, propounded 
and laboured to you (without any respect to your public 
service) the more eagerly, by any means to rise to his long 
expected fortune. Wherein, by reason of the experience I 
have heard your Majesty holds him to have in that country, 
he is like to become my judge, and is already so proud of this 
plot that he cannot keep himself from bragging of it.' l 

The usual delays took place, and the twenty days were 
prolonged to eleven weeks. Raleigh's advice, like that of 
everyone who really understood the problem, was for a system s? 
of garrisons. A Lord President in Munster with a consider- 

1 Mountjoy to the Queen, printed in Goodman's James 1. (ed. Brewer) 
ii. 23 ; Letters of Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney, Oct. 31, 1599, to 
Jan. 12, 1600, in Sidney Papers. 



CHAP, able force, a local governor in Connaught with smaller means, 

y-r T^r 

^ t 1^ a strong post at Lough Foyle, and the remaining troops under 
the Lord Deputy's immediate command these were the means 
by which it was hoped to reduce Ireland. A large army 
under Essex had failed, and his successor was expected to do 
everything with 12,000 foot and 1,200 horse, though every- 
one but the Queen thought this force too small. Lord Grey 
de Wilton, who was Essex's known enemy, desired the com- 
mand at Lough Foyle ; but Mountjoy resented this idea as an 
insult, and the choice fell upon Sir Henry Docwra, who 
had served under Bingham in Connaught and under Essex 
at Cadiz. Grey consoled himself by sending a challenge to 
Southampton, who said he was ready to fight when time and 
place served, but that one so out of favour as himself could 
hope for no mercy if he broke the law in England. Mount- 
joy took leave of the Queen on the 24th of January, but was 
not made a Privy Councillor, that honour being reserved till 
his return. Those who were to accompany him also kissed 
hands, and Elizabeth read a little lecture to each upon his 
duties. A fortnight later the Lord Deputy left London with 
an escort of 100 horse, and wrote from Daventry to Cecil 
begging that he might not be kept too closely to the 13,000 
men. Southampton was not allowed to go with him. 1 
T^Tone's Whether Tyrone cared much or little for religion, it be- 

Ho itf War came an object with him to appear publicly as the champion 
of Rome, and as such he sought help from Spain and Austria. 
He then marched into Munster, and, acting in concert with 
Desmond and the ecclesiastics there, called upon all to take 
part in the holy war. He wasted a considerable part of 
Westmeath, and carefully ravaged Ely O'Carroll. 'All its 
movable possessions,' say the Four Masters, ' were carried 
away, and nothing left but ashes instead of corn, and embers 
in place of mansions. Great numbers of men, women, sons, 
and daughters were left in a dying state.' The reason or 
pretext for this severity was that O'Carroll had hired certain 
warriors of the Macmahons, and had killed instead of paying 

1 Rowland Whyte to Sir R. Sidney, Nov. 29, 1599, to Feb. 9, 1600, in 
Sidney Papers; Fynes Moryson, book ii. chap. i. 


them when the settling day came round. At Holy Cross CHAP. 
Abbey the relic, which had been hitherto preserved in spite of ^ - . " '^ 
the dissolution, was brought out to do him honour. Ormonde 
and Delvin watched his course, but did not venture to attack 
him. The annalists oddly remark that on his progress by 
Cashel to the neighbourhood of Bandon he only injured those 
who were opposed to him. Among these was David Lord 
Barry, who had remained firmly loyal since his pardon in 
Lord Grey's time. Tyrone reviled him for deserting the 
cause of the Church, and as the principal means of preventing 
the southern nobility from joining him in rebellion. ( Her 
Highness,' replied Barry, ' hath never restrained me for mat- 
ters of religion,' and he demanded the restoration of some of 
his followers who had been captured, and of 4,000 kine and 
3,000 horses. He defied Tyrone, and promised to have his 
revenge some day, with her Majesty's assistance. He had 
hoped to save the island on which Queenstown now stands 
but the castle commanding the bridge over the narrow strait 
was of no avail to protect his property. Tyrone landed his 
parties in boats, and not a single house was left unburned. 1 

In the meantime Mountjoy had been appointed Deputy } Arrival of 
and Carew President of Munster. They landed together at Momtjoy 

_ ** flnn. V-'iircw * ^x\^x v 

Howth on February 26, and found things in as bad a state ( Feb - 

. . . rui.ry). 

as possible, almost the whole island being virtually under the 

sway of the victorious rebel. The Queen realised that the 
country could not be bridled without fixed garrisons, but she 
cautioned Mountjoy against frittering away his strength by 
multiplying small posts. It had long been recognised that 
fortifications at Lough Foyle would do more than anything 
to cripple the O'Neills, and 4,000 foot and 200 horse were 
assigned for this service to Docwra ; while 3,000 foot and 250 
horse were allotted, by official orders from England, to the 
presidency of Munster. The force left under Mount] oy's 
immediate control did not, therefore, exceed 5,000 men, and 
he was thus prevented from repeating Essex's mistake, that 

1 Letters in Carew, Dec. 31, 1599, and Feb. 13, 23, and 26, 1600; Tyrone 
to Barry with the answer, in Paeata Hilernia, Feb. 26, 1600 ; Four Masters, 
1599 and 1600. 



CHAP, of * making progresses ' at a great expense without achieving 

> , '-* any permanent results. 1 

Tyrone Carew was necessarily delayed in Dublin for about six 

king in weeks, and in the meantime Tyrone went where he pleased 
in Munster. His principal camp was at Inniscarra on the 
Lee, and thither came friendly messages or hostages from 
nearly all the neighbouring magnates, whether of English or 
Irish race. Among his trustiest lieutenants was his son-in- 
law, Hugh Maguire, who, on or about the last day of Feb- 
ruary, made a raid in the immediate neighbourhood of Cork. 
Sir Warham St. Leger and Sir Henry Power, the acting 
commissioners for Munster, went out for a ride, in no ex- 
pectation of an attack so near the town. Their men were 
marching at ease and in loose order when they suddenly 
came in contact with Maguire's party. St. Leger fired his 
pistol at the chief with fatal effect, but the latter had strength 
enough to retaliate with his half-pike ; and so the two leaders 
fell by each other's hands, and with few or no other casualties 
on either side. To Tyrone the loss was great, and probably 
decided him to leave the province before Carew could appear. 
Marching through the eastern part of Cork, and leaving Cashel 
on his right hand, he passed through Westmeath and reached 
his own country without striking a blow or ever seeing an 
enemy. Ormonde and Thomond came out from Limerick with 
a considerable force, but no battle took place, though Carew 
has recorded his opinion that the loyal Earls were very 
anxious to fight. 2 

Tyrone's Tyrone left about 1,800 men behind him in Munster, 

thrmlgh chiefly under the command of Richard Tyrrell, and with 600, 

Ireland. w hich were probably his best, he travelled so fast as to elude 

Mountjoy, who had made preparations for intercepting him 

in Westmeath. The Ulster men marched twenty-seven miles 

in one day, and reached Tyrone in less than a quarter of the 

1 Docwra's Narration; Pacata Hihernia, lib. i. cap. 1. 

2 Pacata Hibernia, lib. i. caps. 2 and 14. The Four Masters say St. 
Leger's encounter with Maguire was premeditated, but the English account 
is here to be preferred. Compare O'Sullivan Bere, torn. iii. lib. v. cap. 12. 
Lady St. Leger had been previously married to Davells and Mackworth, 
aud was thus by violence left a widow for the third time. 


time that it had taken them to perform the outward journey. CRAP. 


The Queen and her viceroy did not escape ' the great dis- vJ , J l- 
honour of this traitor passing home to his den unfought with.' 
Ormonde and Thomond, who had been keeping Easter to- 
gether at Kilkenny, then repaired to Dublin ; and Mountjoy 
matured his plan for the re-conquest of Ireland in detail. 
Carew was ready before Docwra, and on April 7 he set 
out for his province, the two Earls having preceded him to 
Kilkenny. 1 

Carew reached Kilkenny on the third day, and his com- Ormonde is 
pany of 100 horse were billeted in the neighbourhood by 
Ormonde's directions. Each day the Earl proposed that the Q' 
President should accompany him to a parley with Owen (April). 
MacKory at a point between Ballyragget and Ballinakill in 
the Queen's County. So little did he dream of danger on 
the border of his own county, that he refused Carew's prof- 
fered escort, and set out with about forty mounted men, of 
whom more than one half were ' lawyers, merchants, and 
others, upon hackneys,' and with no weapons but the swords 
ordinarily worn. His company of 200 foot were left two 
miles short of the place of meeting. O'More brought a picked 
troop of spearmen with him, leaving in the rear 500 foot 
and twenty horse, ' the best furnished for war and the best 
apparelled that we have seen in this kingdom,' 300 of them 
being Ulster mercenaries, left by Tyrone on his return to the 
North. The two parties met upon a heath sloping down towards 
a narrow defile, and with a bushy wood on each side, ' the 
choice of which ground,' says Carew, ' we much misliked.' An 
hour's conversation then ensued between Ormonde and O'More 
about such questions as would naturally arise between warlike 
neighbours. Carew, who noticed that the Irish kept edging 
further forward in the covert on each side, was for departing 
before mischief could happen ; but Ormonde, who was quite 
unsuspicious, desired first to speak with Aycher, who as a The Jesuit 
Kilkenny man might be open to the arguments of his natural 
chief. The Jesuit came forward, and after some talk the Ea,rl 

1 The Queen to Mountjoy, March 10, in Carew ; Carew and Thopiond 
to the Privy Council, April 18, i^. 






called him a traitor, and upbraided him with seducing the 
Queen's subjects into rebellion. Archer replied that the 
Pope was the Sovereign of Ireland, and that he had excom- 
municated Elizabeth. Ormonde then spoke of the Pope in 
contemptuous terms, whereupon Archer threatened him with 
his stick. At this signal, whether premeditated or not, the 
two parties became suddenly intermingled, and Melaghlin 
O'More pulled the Earl off his pony. Others, wrote Carew, 
and Thomond, ' tried to seize us too. We had more hanging 
upon us than is credibly to be believed ; but our horses were 
strong and by that means did break through them, tumbling 
down on all sides those that were before and behind us ; and, 
thanks be to God, we escaped the pass of their pikes, which 
they freely bestowed and the flinging of their skeynes. . . . 
Owen MacRory laid hands on me the President, and, next 
unto God, I must thank my Lord of Thomond for my es- 
cape, who thrust his horse upon him. And at my back a 
rebel, newly protected at my suit, called Brian MacDonogh 
Kavanagh, being a-foot, did me good service. For the rest 
I must thank my horse, whose strength bore down all about 
him.' Thomond received the stab of a pike in his back, but 
the wound did not prove dangerous. 1 

Mountjoy distrusted Ormonde, more perhaps from jealousy 
than because there was any real pretext fordoing so. ' Taking 
notice,' the Queen told her Deputy, ' of our cousin of Ormonde's 
good services, and in respect that he hath been much toiled now 
in his latter years, we have left unto him the choice whether 
he will retain the place of Lieutenant under you or not. 
We would have himself and all the world know that we make 
extraordinary estimation of him.' He retained his post with 
an allowance of three pounds a day, and his almost indepen- 
dent position galled Mountjoy, as it had galled other Deputies 

1 Carew and Thomond to the Privy Council, April 18, in Carem and 
Pacata Hibernia. See also the Catholic accounts of the Four Masters and 
of O'Sullivan and Peter Lombard. All the documents are collected in a 
memoir by the Rev. James Graves, in the Irish Arcka-ohyical Journal,* .S. 
vol. iii. pp. 388 sqq. There are two contemporary drawings, one of which 
is reproduced in Pficata Jlibernia and the other in Facsimiles of Irish MSS., 
part iv. 1. I have endeavoured to harmonise the various accounts. 


before his time. Ormonde had trusted to his own vast in- CHAP. 

fluence, and he would certainly have been warned had the in- V^-' 

tention of seizing him been known generally among O'More's 
followers. If there was any premeditated design, it was 
probably divulged only to a few. At first he was confined at 
Gortnaclea Castle, near Abbeyleix, where he was allowed to 
have his own cook and other comforts, but not to see anyone, 
except in Owen MacRory's presence. Archer plied him hard 
with religious argument, and some believed that he conformed 
to Rome ; but this is at least extremely doubtful. Tyrone was 
anxious to get him into his power, but O'More had no idea of 
giving up such a hostage, and it is probable that the Leinster 
men would, in any case, have refused to let him be carried 
out of their province. A rescue was feared, and after a month Ormonde a 
the Earl was removed from Gortnaclea, and carried from cabin ^Aprif to 
to cabin in the woods. From the intolerable hardship of this June )- 
life he was relieved by Sir Terence O'Dempsey, who allowed 
his castle of Ballybrittas, near Portarlington, to be used as a 
prison. It was supposed that the Ulster mercenaries, or 
Bonaghts, wished to carry off the Earl to Tyrone by force, 
and the transfer was made by the O'Mores without their 
knowledge. Besides this, Dermot MacGrath, papal bishop 
of Cork, who is called legate by the English, and who was, 
perhaps, vicar- apostolic, was of opinion that the capture had 
been treacherous, and was thus opposed to Archer. Fenton 
managed to get access, for his spies, to the Earl, among whom 
a ' gentlewoman ' named Honora is particularly mentioned. 
Finding, perhaps, that his prisoner was not likely to be as 
useful as he first supposed, and fearing that he might lose all 
advantage by death, O'More gradually relaxed his demands. 
The first terms offered were that all garrisons should be re- 
moved out of both Leix and Offaly ; that the former county 
should be given up to Owen MacRory : that all his nominees 
should have protection for six weeks ; and that during that time 
there should be no invasion of Ulster. Afterwards there was 
an attempt to make Ormonde sign a paper, which would have 
involved him in the guilt of O'More's rebellion, but he eluded 
these snares, and was released after two months' detention. 




His release 




* It may please your sacred Majesty to be advertised,' he 
wrote to the Queen, ' that it pleased God of his goodness to 
deliver me, though weak and sick, from the most malicious, 
arrogant, and vile traitor of the world, Owen MacRory, forced 
to put into his hands certain hostages for payment of 3,OOOZ. 
if at any time hereafter I shall seek revenge against him or 
his, which manner of agreement, although it be very hard, 
could not be obtained before he saw me in that extremity 
and weakness, as I was like, very shortly, to have ended my 
life in his hands.' He believed that he owed his liberty to 
the report that Leinster would be overrun with troops, to 
prevent which the Irishry of the province themselves offered 
hostages, and were ready to quarrel with O'More should he 
refuse them. They were twelve in number, one being Sir 
Terence O'Dempsey's son, and Ormonde's intention was to 
ransom them one by one. Sir Terence had married a Butler, 
and whatever became of the other hostages, a ransom ap- 
pears to have been paid for this one. 

Mountjoy was fain to confess that c the Earl doth continue 
with as great affection as ever to her Majesty, and with much 
more spleen against the rebel ; but the tie upon him to the 
contrary are the pledges he hath put in, whom no doubt the 
traitors will retain upon their own conditions whatsoever his 
were. I do not think he will deliver his daughter, although 
I believe he hath promised to do it .... I cannot but bear 
a kind of reverence to so ancient a servant of her Majesty, 
and a compassion to the miserable fortune he was in .... it 
shall be hard, but I will put the Earl and the fathers of the 
pledges in blood against the rebels, and that will soon mar 
all contracts between them. I have many plots upon Owen 
MacRory to take him, and I think it is a thing that the Earl 
doth very much practise, and will go very near to perform.' l 

Lady Ormonde was in bad health at this time, and her 

1 Ormonde to the Queen, June 16 ; F. Stafford to Cecil, June 18 ; Mount- 
joy to Cecil, July 4 all in Mr. Graves's memoir cited above. And see 
his further note in Irish Arch. Journal, N.S. vol. v. p. 333. On Aug. 21, 
Eedmond Keating submitted to Mountjoy, on condition to deliver the Earl's 
pledges remaining in his hands ; see in Carctv under Aug. 26, 1600. The 
Kellies and Lalars did the s^me. 


death in the following year was perhaps hastened by anxiety. 
She begged that her husband's military allowance might still 
be paid, as absolutely necessary for her support. Mountjoy 
took proper measures for her protection, and even if he had 
not done so from kindness, the custody of her daughter was a 
matter of public importance. She was Ormonde's only child, 
and there were sure to be many candidates for her wardship, 
and for her hand. Besides which, possible heirs male would be 
ready to advance their claims should anything happen to the 
Earl. Tyrone was supposed to desire the heiress for his son, 
and he took the trouble to deny the imputation, but this may 
not have been until he saw that O'More had no idea of surren- 
dering his great prisoner. ' Use him honourably,' he wrote 
from Dungannon , ' but keep him very sure until he be sent 
hither by the help of yourself and such as we have appointed 
for that purpose. Therefore be not tempted to enlarge him 
upon any proffer, for if you will desire ransom you shall have 
money and gold at my hands.' 

It was not till more than a month later that he denied any 
wish to have the young ' lady ' or * my lady mistress,' as he 
calls Lady Elizabeth, ' for by demanding her, men would say 
that I should have her for my son.' It seems clear that his 
first object was to get Ormonde into his hands, and failing 
that he wished to have credit for liberality and kindness. ' For 
any motion,' said Ormonde contemptuously, ' of marriage of 
my daughter to any of that base traitor Tyrone's brood, upon 
my duty of allegiance to your highness, I never thought of any 
like matter, neither was it demanded of me.' l 

As soon as Mountjoy had provided for the safety of Kil- Carew in 
kenny, Carew started for his own province, where St. Leger's Florence 
death had left Sir Henry Power in temporary charge of a 

1 Fenton to Cecil, April 12 : Carew and Thomond to the Privy Council, 
April 18 ; Tyrone to O'More ^nLf . to Ormonde ^^f and ^f ; to Lady 
Ormonde ^ ay * : Ormonde to the Queen June 16 all these are in the 

J UDC 5 * 

memoir cited. Elizabeth, Lady Ormonde, was the Earl's second wife, and 
daughter of John, second Lord Sheffield. In Eugene Magrath's Irish 
panegyric on her husband (circ. 1 580 ) every laudatory epithet is lavished on 
the 'amiable, lovely, &c. countess.' See this curious poem in Irish Arch* 
Journal (Kilkenny), i. p. 470. 


CHAP, very troubled community. The rebels in the county of 

* , '-* Waterford came in to the Lord President at once, and it was 

thought wiser not to ask questions. In Cork, Florence Mac- 
Carthy was trying to play the impossible part of a neutral, 
while Dermot O'Connor, at the head of a strong body of 
mercenaries, was really the most powerful person in the pro- 
vince. Essex had been authorised to give Florence a patent 
of inheritance to his father-in-law, with discretionary power 
so to limit it as might seem best for the public safety, but his 
sudden departure prevented this being done. St. Leger and 
Power wished the patent to issue, and thought the best way of 
restraining Donell's violence would be to acknowledge Florence 
as MacCarthy More. To show his power, or to annoy a per- 
sonal enemy, Florence soon afterwards ravaged Lord Barry's 
barony of Ibane with ' 700 of the traitors' bonies, otherwise 
called here among us cabbage-soldiers.' Yet he continued 
constantly to protest his loyalty, while maintaining that 
he dared not declare openly for the Queen, lest Dermot 
should forsake him and secure the triumph of that ' bas- 
tardly rascal Donell MacCarthy,' whom Tyrone had acknow- 
ledged as MacCarthy More. O'Connor was not originally 
a person of much importance, but he had married Lady 
Margaret Fitzgerald, the late Earl of Desmond's daughter, 
and, being a valiant man, found himself at the head of 
1,400 Connaught free companions. Tyrone had given him 
the chief command in Munster, and the loose swordsmen 
flocked to his standard. He was, however, ' a mere mercenary 
serving in Munster only for pay,' and probably quite ready 
to sell himself to the highest bidder. Lady Margaret could 
speak English, and it was thought that she would do any- 
thing to procure her brother's restoration to the earldom of 
Desmond. According to Florence's account it was the fear 
of Dermot, and the necessity of doing something to make his 
own people believe in him, that induced him to appear in arms 
on the rebel side ; and provocation was not wanting which 
might justify such action on his part. Sir Henry Power sent 
1 ,000 men into Carbery, under Captain Flower, with general 
orders to spoil all who failed to give securities for their good 


behaviour. It does not appear that any time or much notice CHAP. 
was given, but Flower carried out the work of destruction 

thoroughly. From Kinsale to Glandore harbour, and from warfare, 
that to Dunmanus Bay, not a grain of corn was left un- /] 
burned within ten miles of his line of march, 500 cows were 
drowned to save the trouble of driving them, and ' the churls 
and poor people ' were treated as enemies and killed. On 
his return Flower was threatened by Florence with a superior 
force, but reached Kinsale without any serious encounter. 
Near Ballinhassig, between that town and Cork, the troops 
were near falling into an ambuscade, and even for a time put 
to flight. In the end they made good their retreat, but the 
victory was not much to boast of. When Carew heard of 
the affair, he regretted deeply what had been done. He could 
not reckon on much above 1,700 effective men in the field, 
too few to fight the Sugane Earl and the MacCarthies at once, 
and it was better to have Florence as a faithless, but on the 
whole peaceable neutral, than as an open enemy. 1 

While Carew was preparing to re-conquer the South by a sir Henry 
mixture of force and fraud, a successful lodgment was made ^TJ a oc 
in the extreme north. On May 6, Sir Henry Docwra sailed S? Ty v 
from Carrickfergus with 4,000 foot and 200 horse. Boards 
and spars for building, master carpenters and master masons, 
and a great quantity of tools and victuals were provided. 
The mortality among Randolph's men was not forgotten, and 
there were 100 flock-beds for a hospital. Three pieces of 
cannon were thought sufficient in view of an Irish siege. On 
the seventh day the ships grounded at the entrance of Lough 
Foyle, waited for the tide, advanced a little, and then grounded 
again. At last, on May 16, the work of unloading began 
at Culmore. One hundred men fired a volley from the shore,, 
and horse were also visible ; but they did not venture to dis- 
pute the landing, and in six days an entrenchment capable of 

1 Note of Captain Flower's journey, April 1 ; Joshua Aylmer to Cecil,. 
April 21 ; Sir Henry Power to the Privy Council, April 30 ; Carew to Cecil,. 
May 2 ; Florence MacCarthy to Cecil, May 6 ; Pacata Hibernia, lib. i. 
cap. 5. Cecil's letter to Essex, April 1599, St. Leger's and Power's to Cecil, 
Dec. 10, and Lord Barry's to Cecil, Feb. 12, 1600, are printed in Florence 
MacCarthy's IAft\ chap. 9. 




(May to 

sheltering 200 men was thrown up about some ruined walls. 
O'Dogherty had dismantled his castle of Ellogh in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood ; but it was easily repaired, and received 
a garrison of 150 men. Having thus made good his ground, 
Docwra marched with his main body to Derry on the 22nd, 
and this is how he describes its then condition : ' A place in 
manner of an island comprehending within it forty acres of 
ground, whereon were the ruins of an old abbey, of a bishop's 
house, -of two churches, and at one of the ends of it an old 
castle, the river called Lough Foyle encompassing it all on 
one side, and a bog, most commonly wet and not easily pass- 
able except in two or three places, dividing it from the main- 
land . . . the ground being high, and therefore dry, and 
healthy to dwell upon. At that end where the old castle 
stood, being close to the water side, I presently resolved to 
raise a fort to keep our store of ammunition and victuals in, 
and in the other a little above, where the walls of an old 
cathedral church were yet standing, to erect another for our 
future safety and retreat unto upon all occasions.' Wisely re- 
fusing to be tempted into pursuit of cunning enemies on their 
own ground, Docwra devoted his whole strength to the task 
of making -the place habitable for the winter. Two ships 
were sent to coast along for timber and building materials, 
and a strong party was sent to cut birch in O'Cahan's woods 
on the other side of the Foyle. ' There was,' he said, ' not a 
stick brought home that was not well fought for.' The ruins 
of old Derry and of Randolph's settlement were utilised, 
stone and slate were found hard by, and ' of cockle shells to 
make a lime we discovered infinite plenty of in a little island 
in the mouth of the harbour as we came in. 1 

To prevent Tyrone's whole force from being directed 
against Docwra before he was in a position to stand a siege, 
Mountjoy himself moved northwards at the same time. He 
advanced as far as Newry, and Tyrone immediately faced him 
and turned his back to Lough Foyle. Southampton followed 

1 Docwra's Narration, edited by O'Donovan for the Celtic Society's 
lUincellany. The cockle-shell island was probably one of the ' kitchen- 
middens ' which are common on the Irish coast. 


the Deputy with a small force, and the Irish attempted to cut 
him off in the Mcyry pass. There was some sharp fighting, 
but the Earl, who behaved valiantly, charging more than 200 
horse with only six followers, made good his junction with 
the main army, and Mountjoy, having waited at Newry till he 
heard that Docwra was safe, turned back to Dublin. Tyrone 
and O'Donnell, with about 5,000 men, then threatened the 
new settlement at Derry, but the garrison stood strictly on 
the defensive and nothing was done. Docwra thought it 
prudent to abandon the project of detaching 1,000 men to 
Ballyshannon, and losses by sickness soon showed the wisdom 
of his decision. Sir Arthur O'Neill, son of old Tirlogh 
Luineach, came to the fort with a few followers, and the 
garrison found abundant occupation in hunting cows for their 
own consumption, and in skirmishing with the O'Cahans and 
O'Dogherties. 1 

Carew's great idea was to divide his enemies by policy Carew in 
before he proceeded to crush them by force. His first object Florence 
was to disarm the active hostility of Florence MacCarthy, ^ac- 
and to that end he sought an interview with him. ' So fear- 
ful a creature,' he said, ' I did never see, mistrusting to be 
killed by every man he saw,' but both Lord Thomond and 
Sir Nicholas Walshe swore solemnly that he should return 
safely. The practical result of the conference was that 
Florence promised the President to remain neutral, while the 
Sugane Earl reminded him that he would be more than 1,700 
strong, and that he would take no excuse. Another means 
of weakening the rebels was to make them distrust each 
other, and to this end Carew encouraged a protected rebel, 
named John Nugent, who had been in the service of Sir 
Thomas Norris and had deserted, to kill John Fitzthomas, 
the Sugane Earl's brother. The attempt failed, and Nugent 
was promptly hanged ; but it was known that the would-be 

1 Docwra' s Narration ; Fynes Moryson's Itinerary, part ii. lib. i. cap. 2 j 
Fmir Masters, 1600. Mountjoy left Dublin on May 6, and remained out till 
the end of the month. See also his letter to Carew of July 1 in Carere^ 
' The garrison of Derry,' say the annalists, ' were seized with disease on 
account of the narrowness of the place and the heat of the summer. Gieat 
numbers -died of this sickness.' 




who arrests 



assassin had obtained money, a horse and arms from the Pre- 
sident, and the feeling of insecurity among the Irish became 
as great as if the murder had actually taken place. 1 

Another plot was directed against the Sugane Earl him- 
self, and it came very near succeeding. Dermot O'Connor 
and his wife proved quite ready to do the President's work, 
and Lady Margaret's unwillingness to acknowledge any 
Desmond but her brother was an excuse which would have 
some weight with the people of Munster. The jealousy 
between Dermot's mercenaries and the followers of James 
Fitzthomas was already excessive. At all events Dermot 
agreed to deliver up the Sugane Earl for 1,OOOZ. Archbishop 
MacGrath had been active in the matter, and his two sons 
became securities for Carew, along with two of Lady Margaret's 
foster-brothers, named Power. To give up these hostages 
openly would have disclosed the plot, and it was arranged that 
they should fall as it were accidentally into Dermot's hands. 
They very nearly fell victims to the violence of his men, who 
were not in the secret. To give Dermot the desired oppor- 
tunity of seizing his ally, the President ostentatiously dis- 
persed his force, by way of putting him off his guard. As a 
further protection Carew wrote a letter to the Sugane Earl, 
which made it appear that he had undertaken to deliver 
O'Connor alive or dead ; and it was calculated that this would 
be sufficient defence for the latter when the treachery should 
have taken effect. The letter was placed in Dermot's hands 
in such a way that he could say he had intercepted it. All pre- 
cautions having been taken, O'Connor asked for an interview 
with the man whom he intended to betray. They distrusted 
one another, and each brought an armed force with him. 
The ill-feeling already existing between the followers of 
Tyrone and Desmond soon found a vent, and, to avoid further 
disunion, the two leaders agreed to dismiss their men. Der- 
mot had a few trusty adherents in ambush, and with their 
help he arrested the Sugane Earl in O'Neill's name, producing 
Carew's letter as sufficient warrant. The prisoner was secured 

1 Carew to Cecil, May 6 and Aug. 17 ; Pacata Hibernia, lib. i. chaps, v. 
and vi. 


at Castle Ishin, near Charleville, and word was sent to the CHAP. 


President to come to Kilmallock, where Lady Margaret was to - , ^ 

meet him and receive the promised thousand pounds. 1 

In the meantime Hugh Roe O'Donnell had resolved to O'Donnell 
follow up Tyrone's plan of persecuting all native lords who Clare 
refused to join the confederacy. Lord Barry had already 
suffered, and the Earls of Clanricarde and Thomond were 
now to have their turn. It was seen that Docwra was not 
strong enough to take the offensive, and Tyrone, therefore, 
required no help as against him. Leaving a corps of ob- 
servation under O'Dogherty and Nial Garv O'Donnell, Hugh 
Roe mustered all his forces at Bally mote. The chiefs who 
came to him were O'Rourke, O'Connor Sligo, O'Connor Roe, 
MacDermot, and Theobald Burke, calling himself Mac William 
lochtar. The allies marched without fighting to the neigh- 
bourhood of Gort, and then suddenly burst into Clare. A 
camp was pitched near Ennis, where only the monastery was 
spared, and plundering parties were sent in all directions 
west of the Fergus. ' Many a feast,' say the annalists, ' fit 
for a goodly gentleman, or for the lord of a territory, was 
enjoyed throughout Thomond this night by parties of four 
or five men, under the shelter of a shrubbery or at the side 
of a bush.' 

Retreating slowly to Corcomroe Abbey, and scouring the 
country right and left, the invaders burned every house ; and 
we are particularly told that the smoke enveloped the whole 
line of march, and that it was dense enough to make them j 
lose their way. The rocky passes of Burren were passed 
without opposition, and the victorious raiders encamped 
near Oranmore, where they divided their immense booty of 
cattle. A few had been killed and wounded in the foray, 
especially in the attack on Clare Castle, and the survivors 
were sent home in charge of Theobald Burke and of those 
who guarded the cattle. O'Donnell himself, with 500 foot and Clanri- 
and 60 horse, went to Loughrea, and drove off all the herds 
they could find to Ballymote. The English account says 

1 Pacata Hibcrnia, lib. i. ch. vii. ; Four Masters. June 18 is the proper 
date of this capture ; the annalists wrongly say that it was in January. 


that Thomond punished his enemies with the help of Captain 
Flower and of over 800 English soldiers, and that he recovered 
a great part of his cattle; but of this the annalists ever 
favourable to O'Donnell make no mention. In Clanricarde 
there seems to have been no opposition at all. 1 

The O'Donnell's enterprise restored the spirits of the Irish, 

Earl and perhaps prevented Carew from seizing his prey promptly, 

rescued. Piers Lacy collected 4,000 men and suddenly surrounded 
Castle Ishin. Carew had vainly awaited Lady Margaret for 
a week at Kilmallock, and he now, in spite of Flower's 
absence, advanced to the rescue. But it was too late. A 
priest had persuaded the garrison, and the Sugane Earl was 
already in Lacy's hands. Dermot O'Connor excused himself, 
and no doubt this failure was not his fault ; but the chance 
of 1,000. was lost, and he soon made friends with the rebels 
once more. The Munster Irish still very naturally mistrusting 
him, he withdrew into Connaught, and on his brother-in-law's 
restoration to the honours of Desmond again offered his services 
to Carew. A safe-conduct was accordingly sent to him, but 
he was waylaid near Gort by Tibbot-ne-Long Burke, with 
100 men in the Queen's pay, taken prisoner, and put to 
death. Private revenge was Burke's motive, but Clanricarde 
and the President were ' exceedingly incensed ' at a murder 
which threw doubts upon the good faith of both. 2 

Mountjoy's Elizabeth's dislike to name a successor was well known, 
the^ex an< ^ should have been respected by one who owed so much 
conspiracy. to ]j er as Essex did. That there was, in fact, no dispute about 
the matter was due to Cecil's admirable management, but the 
Earl's uneasy ambition was not likely to lose the chance of 
establishing a claim on the coming man. He entered into 
negotiations with James in 1598, representing that Cecil 
favoured the claims of the Infanta and was plotting to make 
them good. James had little to fear from any rival ; but it 
was in his nature to be busy, and he intrigued with Tyrone 

1 This raid was at midsummer. Four Masters and Pacata Hibernia, 
lib. i. ch. viii. 

" Pacata Hibernia, lib. i, cap. 18. The date of the murder was 
Oct. 24. 


as well as with Essex. In August 1599, immediately before CHAP. 


his journey to the north, the latter thought seriously of - '. ^ 
taking 2,000 or 3,000 men over to Wales, and broached 
the design privately to Southampton and Blount, who both 
earnestly dissuaded him. It was about that time that 
Mountjoy also opened communications with James, and with 
him the influence of Lady Rich may have counted for much. 
His first proposals to the Scottish king are not known, but 
we may judge of their nature by what happened afterwards. 
When Essex after his return from Ireland, was committed 
to the Lord-Keeper's house, and in daily fear of being sent 
to the Tower, he called upon Mountjoy and Southampton to- 
look after his interests. They were willing to help him to 
escape, but he declared himself ready ' rather to run any 
danger than to lead the life of a fugitive.' When it was 
finally decided that Mountjoy should undertake the govern- 
ment of Ireland, Essex pressed him to take some more decided 
course. ' He then swore,' says one who was present, ' exacting 
the like oaths from my Lord of Southampton and myself, to 
defend with the uttermost of our lives her Majesty's person 
and government during her life against all persons what- 
soever, and it was resolved to send Henry Lee again into 
Scotland, with offer that if the King would enter into the 
cause at that time, Lord Mountjoy would leave the kingdom o? 
Ireland defensibly guarded, and with 4,000 or 5,000 men assist 
that enterprise, which, with the party that my Lo?d of Essex 
would be able to make, were thought sufficient to bring thai? 
to pass which was intended.' It seems that James was not 
expected to do more than show himself on the border, while 
his ambassador in London pressed for a public acknowledg- 
ment of his right to the succession. Lee was still in Scotland 
when Mountjoy went to Ireland, and he was arrested as soon 
as he returned. What Essex intended, or whether he had any 
definite plan at all, may be doubted ; but Mountjoy made it 
clear that he at least was playing only ' for the establishment 
of the succession, and not for private ambition.' l 

1 Declaration of Sir Charles Danvers in the correspondence of James VI. 
with Cecil (Camden Society). The evidence of Cuffe, Blount, and South- 


CHAP. Mountjoy told Southampton that he had foreseen Essex's 

, '-* ruin before his return from Ireland, and that he had opened 

Essex", and the correspondence with James as a possible means of saving 
Mountjoy. hj m> The king was advised not to leave the whole realm in 
the hands of his enemies, and it was hoped that a diversion 
might thus be made. In his second letter, if not in his first, 
Mountjoy proposed that James ' should prepare an army, 
declare his intent, and that he would be ready to assist him 
with the army in Ireland, whither he was going,' but insisting 
on his former stipulation that nothing should be done against 
Queen Elizabeth. This might, perhaps, mean no more than 
that, if the succession were declared in England, he would 
see the same done in Ireland. Southampton made similar 
offers, but also reserved his allegiance to the Queen. Jarnes 
gave an evasive answer, declaring that he would bear the 
matter in mind, but that the establishment of a garrison at 
Lough Foyle was a condition precedent to any action on his 
part. Mountjoy did not afterwards deny that he had enter- 
tained the idea of bringing troops over to Wales, but only in 
consideration of the heir to the throne being engaged in the 
business. James's caution did not suit the impatient Essex, 
who approved of a suggestion by Danvers, ' that the army of 
Ireland would suffice alone.' He sent Southampton over 
to sound Mountjoy, ' which,' says the envoy, ' I did, and he 
utterly rejected it as a thing which he could no way think 
honest, and dissuaded me from any such courses.' Lady Rich 
was on the other side of the Channel, and loyalty now resumed 
its sway. Willing, as he says, to redeem his fault of inten- 
tion, the Earl remained as a volunteer in Ireland, and Mount- 
joy vainly tried to have him made Governor of Connaught. 
This was in June, and in the following month Southampton 

ampton in the same collection bears this out. Southampton saw James's 
answer to Mountjoy's first letter. It contained nothing but compliments, 
allowing of his reservations, and referring him for the matter to the bearer 
(Lee), who delivered unto him that the King would think of it, and put 
himself in readiness to take any good occasion.' There is a letter to Essex 
at Hatfield dated from the Court at Nonsuch, Aug. 18, 1599, in which 
Thomas Wenman warns the Earl that he had been slandered to the King 
of Scots as being opposed to his succession, that James would work all craft 
for his destruction, and that he should be careful who he had about him. 


went to Holland. The probability is that Cecil had a shrewd CHAP. 

suspicion of the truth. But Essex determined to make < . " '-> 

another attempt. Early in August Danvers and Cuflfe met 
at the Cross Inn at Oxford, and the latter brought a direct 
message from Essex. ' My Lord requested,' says Danvers, 
' that notwithstanding my Lord of Southampton's departure, 
I would proceed in my journey, and communicate the projects 
with my Lord Mountjoy, and procure his letter.' He took 
the precaution of sending a special messenger to London, 
who returned with reiterated instructions from Essex, and 
thereupon he started for Ireland. He was met with a positive 
refusal from Mountjoy, who spoke even more decidedly than 
he had done to Southampton. ' He desired my lord to have 
patience, to recover again by ordinary means the Queen's 
ordinary favour ; that though he had it not in such measure 
as he had had heretofore, he should content himself; that 
at his coming home he would do for him like a friend ; that 
he hoped my lord would do nothing but that which should 
be justifiable in honour and honesty. In that confidence, if 
he sent for a letter, he would send him such a one as he 
might justify.' Very good advice, but not such as Essex 
was capable of following for long. The spoiled child would 
have all or nothing. 1 

The defeat at the Blackwater and the complete failure of The Pale ; 
Essex had reduced the army to a miserable state. Under piau. J0> " 
Mountjoy the soldiers gradually gained confidence, and no 
doubt he was well advised in not hurrying matters. After 
the skirmish in the Moyry pass he lay for some days at 
Newry, and in the meantime a certain amount of damage 
was done in the Pale. The causeway through the pass was 
partly broken up by the Irish, and he thought it prudent 
to return by Carlingford to Dundalk. ' At this time,' says 
Moryson, who, as Mountjoy's secretary, was an eye-witness 
of what he describes, ' the county of Dublin on the south of 
the Liffey was, in effect, entirely overrun by the rebels ; the 

1 Declaration of Danvers ut tup. ; Henry Cufle to the Council, ib., and 
his Examination, March 2, 1601 (printed by Spedding) ; Confession of 
Southampton, ut sup. 






in King's 


in Queen's 


Dear h of 




connty of Kildare was likewise possessed or wasted by them. 
The county of Meath was wasted, as also the county of West- 
meath (excepting the barony of Delvin) and the county of 
Louth ; so that in the English Pale, the towns having gar- 
risons, and the lands from Drogheda to Navan, and thence 
back to Trim, and so to Dublin, were only inhabited, which 
were also like to grow waste, if they were further charged 
with the soldiers.' The English writer excepts Delvin, but 
the annalists say it was invaded by Tyrone six months before, 
who wasted it until the Baron ' submitted to O'Neill on his 
terms.' Maryborough and Philipstown were cut off from 
Dublin, and Mountjoy 's first care was to restore perfect com- 
munications. His plan was to strengthen and victual the 
garrisons so as to secure them against attack, while harrying 
the country so thoroughly as to make it impossible for the 
Irish to keep the field. 1 

The remnant of the O'Connors were still troublesome in 
Offaly, and they had the help of Captain Tyrrell, a renowned 
partisan who was much in Tyrone's confidence. Mountjoy, 
to quote his own words, went ' into the country on foot over 
a bog, and went out of it in like sort.' But he was not 
always on foot, for he records that grey Davies, his easiest- 
going horse, was shot under him. With little loss he drove 
the Irish up and down the country, and the O'Connors never 
made much head against him. During the three or four 
years of Tyrone's supremacy they had destroyed most of the 
King's County castles, and Mountjoy's care now was to de- 
stroy the crops, so that they could not reoccupy the ground. 
Not only did he reap the green corn, bat used harrows and 
grubbers with long teeth, called pi-ocas, to root it up. 2 

A fortified post was established at the Togher, between 
Monasterevan and Maryborough, thus securing access to 
Philipstown at all times ; and here again Southampton did 
good service by his gallantry and by his example to the 
soldiers. Sir Samuel Bagenal was able to take the offensive 

1 Fynes Moryson's Itinerary, part ii. book i. cap. 2 ; Four Masters, 1600. 

1 Mountjoy to Carew, Aug. 12, in Carem; Moryson, ut sup.; Four 
Mastert, 1600. This raid was during the last clays of July and the first of 


in the neighbourhood of Newry, and Sir Richard Moryson CHAP. 
about Dundalk. O'Donnell wasted much of his strength in V '* 
useless forays, and Docwra was beginning to make himself 
felt in Tyrone's rear. In the middle of August Mountjoy 
started from Carlow with 800 foot and 100 horse, and entered 
the Queen's County, burning the villages and destroying the 
standing corn. Owen MacRory remonstrated, in a letter to 
Ormonde, against this ' execrable and abominable course,' 
and also wrote to ask Mountjoy for a conference with some 
gentleman sent by him. The Lord Deputy handed the letter 
to an Irish fool named Neale Moore, who answered that no 
one in the camp was base enough to confer with him, but 
that if Owen would submit to him on his knees, he, the said 
Neale, would undertake that his submission should be accepted 
or that he should return safe. Next day O'More was killed in 
a skirmish near Timahoe, and with him Callogh MacWalter, 
the man who first laid hands on Ormonde at his late capture. 
The Earl was now in the field with a large force, and Mount- 
joy's plan of embroiling him with the O'Mores had taken 
full effect. After Owen's death the sept never made head 
again, and the English settlers gradually returned to their 
houses. There was much hard fighting both going and re- 
turning, but everywhere the Lord Deputy was victorious. 
From Carlow almost to the foot of Slieve Bloom the cattle 
were driven off and the crops destroyed. But on returning, 
the pass of Cashel was found to be occupied by more than 
2,000 men. Donell Spaniagh, seeing how the event was 
likely to turn out, begged for protection to go to Dublin, 
which was granted, since it was impossible to take him ; and 
then, like Rob Roy at Sheriffrnuir, he drew his men off to a 
hill whence they could see the fight. Keeping on the high 
ground, the troops passed safely to Stradbally and thence to 
Naas. But Sir Arthur Savage, the new governor of Con- 
naught, was unable to effect a junction. The great point 
gained was that the soldiers began to think themselves invin- 
cible, and that they had confidence in their general. 1 

1 Moryson, vt sup. ; Journal, 11-26, nnder latter date in Caretv ; Mount- 
joy to Carew, Sept. 4, ib. 

B B 2 




back (Sep- 
tember to 


After a short rest in Dublin, Mountjoy established a 
camp at Faughard near Dundalk. The array was supposed 
to be over 4,000 strong, but was in reality under 3,000, and 
the weather caused much sickness. ' Our tents,' said the 
Lord Deputy, ' are often blown down, and at this instant it 
doth rain into mine, so that I can scant write.' Great floods 
prevented any forward movement, but there were constant 
skirmishes. Tyrone had an entrenched camp in the Moyry 
pass, which was twice captured, though no attempt was made 
to hold it ; and finding that Mountjoy's progress could not 
be stopped, Tyrone left the passage open to Newry. The 
earthworks in the pass were levelled, and the woods on both 
sides cut down. The facts are clear enough ; but the Irish 
annalists give a totally misleading account of these move- 
ments, and of those that followed them. 1 

After waiting ten days at Newry for provisions, Mountjoy 
marched out towards Armagh. Rather less than half-way he 
built a fort in a strong position, and named it Mount-Norris, 
after Sir John, his master in the art of war. Tyrone was 
near, and did what he could to hinder the work ; but he was 
defeated with loss, and the fort finished, victualled, and gar- 
risoned with 400 men in one week. Finding it impossible 
to keep his horses alive in a country where the grass had been 
eaten down by cattle, the Lord Deputy did not attempt 
Armagh, but proclaimed a reward of 2,OOOZ. for Tyrone alive 
and 1,OOOZ. for him dead, and then returned to Carlingford, 
where there was a good store of provisions. At Narrow- 
water a vessel brought cheese and biscuit for the soldiers, 
who had been fasting for two days, and having eaten it 
: never men went on in a greater jollity.' The narrow pass 
between Carlingford mountain and the sea was disputed by 
Tyrone. The ground was thickly wooded, and the Irish had 
erected a strong barricade and dug several trenches. Mount- 
joy's principal secretary was killed by his side, and the place 
fell to Moryson, the historian, but the troops made steady 

1 The dates are Dublin, Sept. 14; Faughard, Sept. 20; Newry, Oct. 21. 
Moryson, ut sup. ; Lord Deputy and Council to Carew, Oct. 8, in Carcn- ; 
Mountjoy to Carew same date (No. 478) ; Four Masters, 1600. 


progress. Tyrone narrowly escaped a shot, and his men CHAP, 
gradually yielded to the disciplined valour of soldiers who ^ , '-* 
fought under the eye of a captain in whom they believed. 
Fynes Moryson, who was staying that day with his brother, 
the governor of Dundalk, could hear the volleys seven miles 
distant ' sensibly by reverberation of the garden wall ; ' and 
says ' the Irish lost 800 men, while the English had 200 
killed and 400 not seriously wounded, and that Tyrone's re- 
putation (who did all things by reputation) was clean over- 
thrown, so that from all places they began to seek pardons 
and protections.' Strength, or the appearance of strength, 
has always ruled in Ireland. 1 

While Mountjoy slowly but surely reduced the Pale and Docwra 
the district bordering on it, Sir Henry Docwra held his own MS power 
at Derry. Sir Arthur O'Neill, old Tirlogh Luineach's eldest in Ulster ' 
son, joined him, and did good service both as adviser and ally, 
but he brought no great force into the field. Tyrone derided 
him as ' Queen Elizabeth's earl that cannot command 100 
kerne,' and she felt the sarcasm keenly, having really con- 
templated the transfer of the arch-rebel's honours to his 
kinsman. Sir Arthur advised a raid into O'Cahan's country, 
and 700 men were sent by night along the Donegal shore of 
Lough Foyle. At Greencastle they took boat, and crossing 
silently came upon all the cattle collected in fancied security, 
for attack from that side had not been dreamed of. One 
hundred live cows and some carcases were secured, ' but for 
want of means to bring all away the soldiers hacked and 
mangled as many as they could.' The process of exhausting 
the country was deliberately undertaken. Sir John Cham- 
berlain, who was the leader of this expedition, was killed a few 
days later in repelling an attack upon Aileach castle by the 
O'Dogherties, his body being pierced by no less than sixteen 
wounds. Four days after this fight, in which Docwra himself 
had a horse shot under him, a strong outpost was fortified at 
Dunalong on the eastern bank of the Foyle. In this case 
also the approach was made by water, and Tyrone, who was 
encamped not far off, found the entrenchments unassailable 

1 Nov. 2-13. The Four Masters add nothing to Moryson's account. 


CHAP, after a single day's work upon them. Within their lines 
^1 r-l-I everywhere the English were safe, but not a mile outside. 1 
Fighting Among the Irishmen who had been recommended to 

Lough Docwra by the Government was Maelmory MacSwiney, who 
had been chief of O'Donnell's gallowglasses, and connected 
with him by close ties ; but who was now in receipt of a life 
pension of six shillings a day and in command of 100 English 
eoldiers. This man opened communications with O'Donnell, 
and drove out a large number of horses on purpose that they 
might be seized. This was done before daylight, and near 200 
were swept off' into the heart of Tyrconnell. The alarm being 
given, Docwra leaped from his bed and pursued with a score 
of horsemen, leaving the rest to follow as soon as they were 
ready. He was wounded in the head and his men had enough 
to do to carry him off, leaving the prey with the O'Donnells. 
Docwra was confined to his bed for a fortnight, and on his 
recovery found that not more than twenty per cent, of his 
men were able to pass muster. It was clearly proved that 
MacSwiney was the cause of the late disaster, and he was 
sent by sea to Dublin ; but the hatchway being left open for 
the reception of the beer barrels, he sprang on deck, threw 
himself into the Foyle, and reached O'Cahan's country, 
the people on board being too much amazed to stop him. 
Instigated perhaps by this keen spirit, Rory O'Cahan, the 
chief's brother, brought a present of sixty fat beasts, which 
were much wanted, and afterwards put the soldiers in the 
way of taking as many more. Having thus made himself 
agreeable, Rory asked for 800 men to do a more important 
piece of service. Sir Arthur O'Neill warned Docwra not 
to trust him, and it turned out that his object was to lead 
the soldiers into an ambuscade prepared by Tyrone himself. 
Having secured his own safety, Rory then offered to ransom 
his hostages for a certain quantity of cattle, threatening 
that he would never spare an Englishman if they came to 
any harm. Docwra's answer was to erect a gibbet on the 
rampart, and to hang the poor wretches before the face of 

1 Docwra's Narration, June 1 to July 29 ; Four Matters, 1600; Cecil to 
Carew, Sept. 28, in Maclean's Lettert of Sir R. Cecil. 


their principal, who stood with 300 men on the other side of CHAP. 


the Foyle. 1 . . . . 

As the autumn days closed in, the garrison of Derry were Sufferings 

in a miserable state, ' men wasted with continual labours, the garrison 

island scattered with cabins full of sick, our biscuit all spent, (^P^ 111 ^ 1 

' to Octo- 

our other provisions of nothing but meal, butter, and a little ber )- 

wine, and that, by computation, to hold out but six days 

longer.' The temptation to desert was great, and both Tyrone 

and O'Donnell offered free passage through their territories. 

Not only was the garrison diminished, but the loss of horses 

and the miserable condition of those left made it impossible 

to patrol at any distance from the walls. On the night of 

September 16, O'Donnell crept up unseen to the very edge of 

the bog which bounded Derry on the land side, and then, for 

some inexplicable reason, his men fired a volley. The garrison 

sallied out, and put them to flight. It was probably a last 

effort to frighten Docwra into a parley, for he was relieved 

the very next day. A plentiful supply of provisions, 50 They are 

fresh horse and 600 foot were introduced from the sea, as well 

as two timber frames upon which water-tight storehouses 

might easily be erected. And it was announced to the men 

that they were to receive 4>d. a day extra when they worked 

upon the fortifications. The Irish had lost their opportunity, 

and it never returned. 2 

A more important recruit than either MacSwiney or Sir Neiii Garv 
Arthur O'Neill was Neill Garv O'Donnell, grandson of Calvagh 0>DunneU - 
and husband of Hugh Roe's sister Nuala, who separated from him 
in consequence of his defection. He brought 100 men with him, 
and was promised a grant of Tyrconnell as soon as his brother- 
in-law had been expelled. The O'Donnells had never been a 
united family , and Neill Garv probably thought his claim at least 
as good as that of the actual chief. His three brothers took part 
with him, the immediate consequence being that the English 
had plenty of fresh meat and that they were much less closely 
beleaguered than before. The first actual service required of 
Neill Garv was to take the ancestral seat at Lifford, and for 

1 Docwra's Narratwn, July 29 to Sept. 16 ; Four Matter*, 1600. 
1 Docwra's Narration, Sept. 16 to Oct. 3. 




in the 
North (No- 



this purpose over 800 men were sent under his guidance. 
The castle had been razed, but a weak earthwork defended the 
email town, and Hugh Roe had left some thirty men in charge. 
They fled without resistance, after setting fire to the place, 
and the English proceeded to entrench themselves strongly, 
finding welcome shelter in about twenty houses, which were 
all that the late garrison had left unburned. Twice within a 
fortnight O'Donnell vainly exerted all his force to recover the 
place, though his presence enabled the country people to get 
in their crops and to carry away the produce safely. On the 
second occasion there was a sharp skirmish, in which Captain 
Heath was killed, and Neill Garv had a horse shot under him, 
but Lifford was not retaken. Four days later Sir Arthur 
O'Neill died of a fever brought on by ' drinking too many 
carouses on his marriage-day,' and his brother Cormac claimed 
to succeed him. But Tirlogh, his son by a former wife, was 
accepted by Docwra, and did such service as his youth per- 
mitted. 1 

About the beginning of November, two Spanish ships put 
into Broadhaven, with money, arms, and ammunition for the 
Irish. O'Donnell sent the foreigners word that Killybegs 
would be a better place for them, and also announced their 
arrival to Tyrone. Eventually the Spaniards put into the 
little harbour of Teelin, whence the cargo was carried to 
Donegal, and divided between the two chiefs. A descent of 
this kind had been talked of for months, but Cecil had given 
little credence to these rumours, and when the long-expected 
aid actually came, it was not enough to affect the result, or to 
imperil Docwra's position in any way. 2 

Neill Garv and his brothers Hugh, Donnell, and Con made 
several raids from Lifford into Tyrone, and took Newtown, 
now Newtown Stewart, from the O'Neills. O'Donnell's great 
object was to get possession of his formidable kinsman, and 

1 Docwra's Narration, Oct. 3-28; Four Masters, 1600; Journal of 
Mountjoy's proceedings, in Carew, vol. v. p. 497. In the Ulster settlement 
Docwra was granted 2,000 acres about Lifford. 

2 The Four Masters are here to be preferred to Docwra ; see also Cecil 
to Carew in Maclean, Aug. 29, 1600. 


he employed two of the MacDevitts, a sept of O'Dogherties, CHAP. 

named Hugh Boy and Phelim Eeagh. Captain Alford, the , 1- 

governor of Culmore, pretended friendship with these men, 
and engaged to give up the fort to them, with Neill Garv 
inside. Alford's object was to draw them into an ambuscade, 
and he pretended to make conditions. 1,OOOZ. down and 
3,OOOZ. a year pension from Spain were promised him, and a 
chain of gold formerly given by Philip II. to O'Donnell, and 
worth 160Z., was actually given in earnest. A day was ap- 
pointed for the treason, but the Irish broke their tryst. In 
a short time Hugh Boy and Phelim Eeagh were Docwra's firm The 
friends. Cahir O'Dogherty, the chief's son, had been fostered t j es> s 
by them, and was now in O'Donnell's hands, who had an- 
nounced that he should succeed his father. But when Sir John 
died, he favoured Cahir's uncle, and the foster-parents were 
very angry. On condition that their nursling should be es- 
tablished, they offered to keep Innishowen at Docwra's service. 
O'Donnell was induced to free the young man, and imme- 
diately all the O'Dogherties, with their cattle, left him, and 
returned to their own district. Supplies were thus secured to 
the English garrison, as well as good intelligence, and Docwra 
confesses that without their aid the progress made would have 
been comparatively small. Thus it ever was in Ireland : the 
natives fought among themselves, and so lost all. l They had 
their own ends in it,' said Docwra, ' which were always for 
private revenge ; and we ours, to make use of them for the 
furtherance of the public service.' l 

Shortly before midsummer the White Knight made his Carew 
submission, and, was soon to do signal service. The castles of Munstw 
Bruff and Lough Gur were taken and garrisoned, the mere 
preparations for a scientific cannonade being enough to cause 
their evacuation, and the triangle made by Limerick, Cashel, 
and Kilmallock was freed from the rebels. The county of 
Waterford was almost cleared, and Connello and Aherlow 
alone harboured any considerable number. Cahir was volun- 
tarily surrendered, and the ordnance left there by Essex was 

1 Docwra's Narration, ' about Christmas ' ; Four Matters, under Jan. 27, 






Murder of 
a loyalist. 

sent to Clonmel. Glin in Limerick and Carrigafoyle in 
Kerry still held out, and the first was besieged by Carew on 
July 7. Sending his guns by water, he passed on his way 
through the heart of Connello, and Piers Lacy abandoned 
Groom Castle at his approach, having already ruined the other 
Kildare house at Adare. The Sugane Earl marched near the 
President, and encamped only a mile off at Glin, but never 
ventured to make any attack. The ordnance, ' one demi- 
cannon and a saker,' were landed and placed in position. The 
Knight, who believed in Desmond's boasts, expected to be re- 
lieved, and would not surrender at discretion, although his 
son was in Carew's power, and in some danger of being 
hanged. The first day's firing made a breach, and a lodgment 
was effected in the basement under the hall. Three out of 
the four towers were thus made untenable, and the fourth, 
into which all the garrison had retired, was attacked in the 
same way, and a fire lit in it, which burned many. Next 
day the tower was assaulted, and those who survived of the 
eighty defenders were cut in pieces or thrown over the walls. 
Captain Flower, who led the stormers, was wounded in four 
places, and there was a loss to the besiegers of eleven killed 
and twenty-one wounded. The moral effect of this siege was 
great. Desmond seems to have believed that the carriages of 
the cannon were unserviceable, but Carew had discovered and 
remedied their defects some weeks before. O'Connor Kerry, 
who despaired of defending Carrigafoyle, voluntarily surren- 
dered it, and was received to protection. The small castle of 
Liscahan near Ardfert was taken by surprise, and entrusted to 
Maurice Stack, a native of Kerry, ' and a man of small stature 
but invincible courage,' who with fifty men successfully de- 
fended it against Desmond's attacks and Florence MacCarthy's 
plots. Stack was afterwards murdered in cold blood by Lady 
Honora Fitzmaurice's men, and Thomond never spoke to his 
sister afterwards. Sir Edward Denny's house at Tralee, and 
Sir William Herbert's at Castle Island, were found in ruins, 
no attempt being made to defend these old Desmond 
strongholds. Lixnaw the Fitzmaurices had not time to raze, 
and at the end of August Carew was able to give a good 


account of Mun ster generally. 'All our garrisons,' he wrote, CHAP. 
'in Kerry, Askeaton, Kilmallock, Youghal, and Lismore, I - , '- 
thank God do prosper and are now at their harvest, which 
must be well followed, or else this summer service is lost. 
Wherein I will be careful to lose no time, for the destruction 
of it will procure the next year's famine ; by which means 
only the wars of Ireland must be determined .... no day 
passeth without report of burning, killing, and taking prey 
. . . infinite numbers of their cattle are taken, and besides 
husbandmen, women, and children, of weapon ed men there 
hath been slain in this province, since my coming, above 1,200, 
and of her Majesty's army not forty slain by the enemy. 1 

Tyrone was himself so much pressed by Mountjoy that he Final 
was less able to send help to his Earl of Desmond, who was the Sugane 

driven by Wilmot first into Connello and then into the great 
fastness of Aherlow. A gallant officer, Captain Richard 
Greame, lay at Kilmallock with his troop of horse, and 
attacked Desmond's greatly superior force on the march. 
The Irish were surprised, and completely routed, with the 
loss of 200 men. The 400 who remained unwounded dis- 
persed into Connaught or Ulster, and the Sugane Earl never 
recovered the blow. 300 horseloads of plunder, besides the 
usual prey of cattle, fell into Greame's hands ; but Cecil re- 
marked that the prize was hardly so marketable as that which 
came in Spanish carracks, and directed that 100Z. should be 
given him. Carew asked that he should be knighted, and 
Mountjoy willingly complied, though he hesitated for some 
time in view of the very strict orders which he had, not to 
make chivalry too cheap. 2 

As the fortunes of one Desmond fell, those of another The 
brightened for a moment. James, the son of the rebel Earl Earl of 
who fell at Glanageenty, was born in 1571, and had been in 
the Tower since 1584, much of his time before that having been 
spent in Irish prisons. The quantity of medicine administered 

1 Carew to the Privy Council July 18-20 and Aug. 25 ; Pacata Hibernia, 
book i. chaps, ix.-xii. 

* This fight was on Sept. 16. Pacata Hibernia, book i. chap. xiii. ; 
Mountjoy to Carew, Oct. 8, in Carew, Cecil to Carew, Oct. 15; Carew to 
the Privy Council, Nov. 2. 



CHAP, to him was enough to ruin any constitution, and in fact he 

, ' possessed little vigour either of mind or body, though the 

Desmond pride sometimes showed itself; and of course he 
knew nothing of the rough world, or of the rough ways by 
which his ancestors had raised themselves to almost regal 
power. But his letters show that his education had not been 
neglected, though no mere instruction could make up for the 
want of practical training. It occurred to Carew, who saw 
the difficulty of purely forcible conquest, that the affection 
still felt for his house might be utilised in Munster, and 
Raleigh strongly supported this view. Cecil had not much 
faith in the plan, but he submitted to the judgment of those 
who knew Ireland, and joined them in urging the young 
man's restoration upon the Queen. Elizabeth yielded, but 
slowly and with many misgivings. Failure would make her 
ridiculous, and too great success on the legitimate Earl's part 
might make him harder to pull down than the pretender had 
been. He was allowed to assume the title, and here is his 
letter of thanks to Cecil : 

' Right honourable, I have received by Sir Geoffrey Fenton 
your honour's directions how I should subscribe unto my 
letters, which I protest unto your honour is much troublesome 
unto me, in regard that I had no further assurance than by his 
word of mouth. I am so jealous and fearful of her highness's 
grace and displeasure that I beseech your honour to bear with 
my overpressing you with my many importunities. I must 
hold myself as your honour's poor creature, in which ever I 
will acknowledge your favours in that height of regard as to 
your direction I will ever tie myself. And so I rest your 
honour's in very affectionate assurance, 


Cecil's idea was to send Desmond's patent to Carew, ' to 
be shewed to that generation of incredulity ' the people of 
Munster, and not to be delivered to the Earl unless his 

1 Desmond to Cecil, MS. Hatfield. The letter is not dated, but Fenton 
was in London during July and August 1600. Writing to Carew on July 
11, Cecil calls the young man James Fitzgerald, and Desmond in later 
letters. The patent was ready by A ug. 29, and received the Great Seal on 
Oct. 1. It is printed in Pacata Hilernia, book i. chap. xiv. 

The Queen 
is per- 
suaded to 
send Des- 
mond over. 


services made it worth while. But when the document was CHAP. 

Y T T Y 

brought to the Queen she refused to sign it, and Desmond left -._ . _- 
London before it was done. Two days later she relented, and 
Archbishop Miler Magrath, who overtook him on the road, 
carried it to Carew in Ireland. ' God doth know it,' said 
Cecil, 'the Queen hath been most hardly drawn unto it that 
could be, and hath laid it on my dish a dozen times : " Well, 
I pray God you and Carew be not deceived." ' Captain Price, 
a plain soldier who had no object but to do his duty and 
return, was sent in charge of the young Earl. It seems that 
some wished to send Raleigh, but Cecil objected upon 
Carew's account. The party sailed from Bristol, and reached 
Youghal after being two days and a night at sea. ' I was so 
sea-sick,' Desmond wrote, ' as whilst I live I shall never love 
that element. ... I had like, coming new of the sea, and 
therefore somewhat weak, to be overthrown with the kisses 
of old calleaks ; and was received with that joy of the poor 
people as did well shew they joyed in the exceeding mercy of 
her sacred Majesty towards me.' Weak and sickly, and 

never likely to take to Irish life, was what Cecil had pro- r 

. . His recep- 

nounced him to be, and the kisses of the old wives at Youghal tion in 
were the only successes which awaited him. That noted 
loyalist, Mr. John Fitzedmond, received him with profuse 
hospitality at Cloyne. At Cork things were different, and 
there can be little doubt that intentional discourtesy was 
shown to the Queen's Earl. Neither lodging nor supper could 
be had, and Desmond was feign to seek shelter with the 
mayor. This was John Meade, a lawyer who had been chosen in 
pursuance of a settled policy adopted by the corporate towns 
at this time. Limerick, Waterford, Clonmel, and Kinsale pre- 
ferred political agitators to merchants, and lawyers were the 
fittest to make civic immunities and privileges a means of 
embarrassing the Government. The portreeve of Cashel was 
the most profound civilian in Ireland, and as obstinate as 
learned. As to Meade, said Desmond, he might be called 
Lack-law, ' if he had no better insight in Littleton than in 
other observations of his place for her Majesty's service, for it 
was much ado that we got anything for money, but that most 




of the 

scene at 

of my people lay without lodging, and Captain Price had the 
hogs for his neighbours.' Meade excused himself by saying 
that he did not know how far attentions to Desmond could 
be agreeable to the President, since he came to Cork direct 
from the sea, and that he feared any public welcome might 
be ill-taken by the Government. The arrival of 400 Welsh 
soldiers had made lodgings scarce, and the learned mayor 
found plenty of reasons for his neglect. But Captain Price, 
who had the best means of knowing, took the same view of 
the matter as the young Earl, and Meade was soundly repri- 
manded by the Privy Council. 1 

The Geraldine who held Castlemaine for the Sugane Earl 
now gave it up to the real Desmond, and this was the only 
important result of his restoration. The Queen was half- 
hearted about the matter, hesitated to bestow an estate, and 
did not care to provide the means for much show. Five 
hundred pounds a year was not a bad allowance in those days, 
but the young Earl was inclined to extravagance, and he felt 
acutely that he could do nothing unless he were trusted with 
the command of men. His adherents among the people might 
give information as to his rival's whereabouts, but there 
was no chance of catching him if he had to apply to the 
nearest garrison for means to follow up the clue. In the mean- 
time Greame's victory had made the fugitive insignificant, 
and Carew had little doubt about being able to hunt him 
down. The true Desmond spent part of his time at Mallow, 
where some supposed him to have become enamoured of Lady 
Norris. Carew sent him to Kilmallock in the company of 
Archbishop Magrath, and of his friend Boyle, who was to 
report privately as to his reception by the people. At 
Youghal men, women, and children had upset each other in 
the streets to see the restored exile, but at Kilmallock the 
excitement was still greater. A guard of soldiers lined the 
street between his lodgings and Sir George Thornton's house, 
where he went to sup ; but the crowd broke the line, and the 

1 Desmond landed on Oct. 14. Nearly all the letters are collected in 
Florence MacCarthy's Life, pp. 485-500, where details as to the Tower life, 
medicines, kc. may be read, and in Cecil's letters to Carew (ed. Maclean). 


short walk took half an hour. Doors, windows, and roofs 
were filled with people, ' as if they came to see him, whom 
God had sent to be that comfort and delight their souls and 
hearts most desired, and they welcomed him with all the 
expressions and signs of joy, everyone throwing upon him 
wheat and salt (an ancient ceremony used in the province 
upon the election of their new mayors and officers) as a pre- 
diction of future peace and plenty.' Next day was Sunday, 
and the Protestant Earl went to church. On his way the 
country folk shouted to him not to go, and when he came 
back after service they abused and spat upon him. The 
multitude which had flocked the little garrison town soon 
deserted it, and he whom they had come to welcome might 
walk the empty streets and sup where he pleased with as 
little danger of being mobbed as any private gentleman. 
He oscillated between Kilmallock and Mallow, but felt him- 
self powerless, and the murder of his brother-in-law, Dermot 
O'Connor, made him think that his life was not safe. The 
poor lad soon expressed his desire to be back in England, and 
to live there quietly, in preference to any Irish greatness which 
the Queen might intend for him. Cecil rather encouraged 
him to return, at least for a time, and till the question of an 
estate could be settled, and held out some hopes of an English 
wife, ' a maid of noble family, between eighteen and nineteen 
years of age, no courtier, nor yet ever saw you, nor you 
her.' 1 

In 1598 Tyrone announced, and possibly believed, that The end of 

, n i T the house of 

Desmond had escaped ' by means or the Lieutenant of the Desmond. 
Tower's daughter, who had gone with him,' that he had 
reached Spain, and that he would be in Munster within a 
month, with men, munitions, and treasure. Had this been 
true, he could hardly have done Elizabeth more harm than the 
Sugane ; but coming, as he did, with an Earl's patent and a 
Protestant archbishop, he neither hindered Tyrone nor served 

1 Pacata JTibr-rnia, vol. i. ch. xiv. and the letters in Florence Mac- 
Carthy's Life; Carew to Cecil in Carew, March 22, 1001. ' I do not at all, 
or at least very little,' Desmond wrote to Cecil on Dec. 18, 1000, ' participate 
of the Italian proverb, Amor fa molto, argentofa tutto.' 




the Queen, and he slunk back to England almost unnoticed. 
He did not marry, nor was his allowance at all lavish, but he 
was kindly treated and not shut up in the Tower ; and his 
last days seem not to have been unhappy. ' If I turn me,' 
he wrote from Greenwich, ' into time past, I behold a long 
misery ; if into the present, such a happiness in the compari- 
son of that hell as may be a stop to any further encroach- 
ment.' He died nine months after his return from Ireland, 
leaving five sisters, for whom the Queen made some provision 
until they found husbands. The eldest, Lady Margaret, was 
married to Dermot O'Connor, and his murder left her a widow ; 
she received a pension of 100Z. Catharine, the third, was 
the wife of Lord Roche, and the three unmarried ones had 
pensions of 33Z. 6s. 8d. The second, Lady Joan, was destined 
by her mother, who had married O'Connor Sligo, to match 
with Hugh Roe O'Donnell. Her brother opposed this, as 
well as Carew, and she seems to have had no great mind for 
it herself; but the plot cost her a short detention with the 
Mayor of Cork, who again made what difficulties he could. 
Lady Joan afterwards married Dermot O'Sullivan Bere. 
Lady Ellen, the fourth sister, married three times, her last 
husband being Edmund Lord Dunboyne, and she lived till 
1660, when her stepson was restored to his country but not 
to his property. Lady Ellice, the fifth, married Sir Valentine 
Browne the younger, of Ross Castle at Killarney, and thus, 
as the wife of an undertaker's son, enjoyed some portion of 
the vast estates which had been forfeited by her father's 
rebellion. The title of Desmond was given by James I. to 
a Scotch courtier, upon whom he also bestowed the only 
daughter and heir-general of the great Earl of Ormonde. 
It was Buckingham's plan to depress the Butlers by separat- 
ing their title and estates, and by giving the latter to a 
favourite like himself. But Lady Elizabeth Butler defeated 
this scheme by marrying her cousin, the future Duke ; and 
thus, through the greatest of the cavaliers, the long strife 
between Ormonde and Desmond was ended at last. 1 

1 Fenton to Cecil, April 20, 1598. William Power, writing from Cork 
to Cecil, Jan. 17, 1602, says ' you were a father to the unfortunate young 


Earl, as himself often told me.' Carew to the Privy Council, Dec. 20, 1600, CHAP. 
and March 6, 1601 ; Pacata Hibernia, book i. chap, xviii. ; Desmond XLIX. 
Pedigree in Irish Arch,. Journal, 3rd series, vol. i. ; Desmond to Cecil, 
Aug. 31, 1601. Among the 1602 papers at Hatfield, there are petitions 
from two of the Desmond ladies asking Cecil for part of the allowance 
meant ' for our poor brother, that we might end the rest of our unfortunate 
days without being troublesome.' 





MOUNTJOY felt that his own hands were not quite clean, and 
he knew that Carew was more thoroughly trusted than he 
was. The President's excellent temper prevented anything 
like a rupture, but the Deputy's letter shows how sensitive 
he was. It was in answer to one of these despatches, in 
which he had likened himself to a scullion, that Elizabeth 
wrote with her own hand one of those letters which go far to 
reveal the secret of her power. ' Mistress Kitchenmaid,' she 
said, ' I had not thought that precedency had been ever in 
question, but among the higher and greater sort ; but now I 
find by good proof that some of more dignity and greater 
calling may by good desert and faithful care give the upper 
hand to one of your faculty, that with your frying-pan and 
other kitchen stuff have brought to their last home more 
rebels, and passed greater break-neck places, than those that 
promised more and did less. Comfort yourself, therefore, in 
this, that neither your careful endeavour, nor dangerous 
travails, nor heedful regards to our service, without your own 
by-respects, could ever have been bestowed upon a prince 
that more esteems them, considers, and regards them than 
she for whom chiefly, I know, all this hath been done, and 
who keeps this verdict ever in store for you ; that no vain- 
glory nor popular fawning can ever advance you forward, but 
true vow of duty and reverence of prince, which two afore 
your life I see you do prefer. And though you lodge near 
Papists, and doubt you not for their infection, yet I fear you 
may fail in an heresy, which I hereby do conjure you from ; 
that you suppose you be backbited by some to make me think 
you faulty of many overs'ghts and evil defaults in your 


government. I would have you know for certain that, as CHAP. 
there is no man can rule so great a charge without some - r 
errors, yet you may assure yourself I have never heard of 
any had fewer ; and such is your good luck that I have not 
known them, though you were warned of them. And learn 
this of me, that you must make difference betwixt admoni- 
tions and charges, and like of faithful advices as your most 
necessariest weapons to save you from blows of princes' 
mislike. And so I absolve you a poena et culpa, if this you 
observe. And so God bless and prosper you as if ourself was 
where you are. Your Sovreign that dearly regards you.' 
It is easy to understand what an effect such a letter must 
have had, and how Mountjoy must have been encouraged in 
his difficult work. 1 

It was supposed at the time that the death of Feagh Final re- 
MacHugh would free Dublin from the depredations of the the Wick- 

O'Byrnes ; but his son, Phelim MacFeagh, continued to give 

trouble, and the suburbs of the capital were in almost nightly ( Januar 7)- 

alarm. Shortly before Christmas Mountjoy set out for Monas- 

terevan, whither he had sent Arras hangings and other bag- 

gage betokening a long stay there. But he himself suddenly 

turned off near Naas, crossed the snowclad mountains with 

a strong force, and entered Glenmalure quite unexpectedly. 

Ballinacor was surrounded, and Phelim's wife and son cap- 

tured, the chief himself escaping naked out of a back window 

into the woods, while Mountjoy and his followers consumed 

the Christmas stock of provisions. The cattle were swept 

out of the country, the corn and houses destroyed, and at the 

end of three weeks the Lord Deputy retired. Garrisons were 

placed at Tullow on one side and Wicklow on the other, and 

these highlanders gave no further trouble. Phelim Mac- 

Feagh, who was saved by the mountain floods, came to Dublin, 

and submitted with due humility. 2 

1 The Queen to Mountjoy, Dec. 3, 1600, copy in Carew. There are 
other letters of the time from Elizabeth to the Lord Deputy beginning 
' Mistress kitchenmaid.' 

2 Moryson, part ii. book i. chap. ii. On Jan. 1, 1601, Mountjoy dates a 
letter to Carew (in Carem) ' from the camp among the rocks and the woods 
in these devils' country.' 

c c 2 



in the 

and Essex. 

The early months of 1601 were spent by Mountjoy in de- 
vastating the central districts. Starting from Monasterevan 
on January 29, he passed by Kildare, which was in ruins and 
quite deserted, to Trim, and from thence by Castletown Delvin 
to Mullingar, ' the shiretown of Westmeath, compassed with 
bogs.' Athlone was reached on February 17, and then, with- 
out resting more than a night, he doubled back to Mac- 
geohegan's castle of Donore. Between Lough Ennell and the 
place still called Tyrrell's pass, he found the redoubtable 
Captain Tyrrell in his stronghold, ' seated in a plain and in 
a little island compassed with bogs and deep ditches of run- 
ning water.' An attempt to cross with hurdles and faggots 
was frustrated by the current, and an officer was shot. Mory- 
son, the historian, had a narrow escape. The English horse 
kept always on the move, which generally protected them 
against the fire of matchlocks, but the secretary, who was no 
soldier, and whose white horse gave a good mark, felt one 
bullet whistle past his head, while another struck his saddle. 
Proclamation was then made that no one, on pain of death, 
should succour the rebels in any way, that the country people 
should bring provisions to the camp, and that soldiers, also on 
pain of death, should pay the market price. Two thousand 
crowns were placed on Tyrrell's head, who thought it prudent 
to steal away by night to another island in Queen's County, 
which was for the time inaccessible, on account of the floods. 1 

While staying at Donore Mountjoy got a letter to say 
that Essex had been sent to the Tower. ' It is not credible,' 
says Moryson, ' that the influence of the Earl's malignant 
star should work upon so poor a snake as myself.' Yet so it 
was. Mountjoy thought it prudent to range himself osten- 
tatiously on Cecil's side, and to depress Essex's friends, with 
some of whom his secretary was connected. He took his most 
private papers into his own custody, and Moryson says lie 
never quite recovered the blow. He tells us that, however 
his principal might clamour to be recalled nothing was further 
from his thoughts, and that he had made preparations to sail 

1 Moryson, Jan. 29 to Feb. 25, part ii. book ii. chap. ii. ; Mountjoy to 
Carew, March 11, in Car en. 


for France in case he was sent for to England. Ten days 
later came a gracious letter from Elizabeth, in which she 
announced the death of Essex, cautioned his successor to look 
well to the loyalty of his officers, and forbade him to leave his 
post until the intentions of Spain were better known. 1 

Mountjoy had been implicated in the Essex intrigues Death of 
quite enough to make him nervous ; but when it became clear His con- 
that the Queen would overlook all, he was probably sincerely 
anxious to return. He wrote to solicit Nottingham's good 
offices, and the answer throws a curious light upon the 
manners and morals of the time. ' I think,' wrote the Lord 
Admiral, ' her Majesty would be most glad to look upon your 
black eyes here, so she were sure you would not look with too 
much respect on other black eyes. But for that, if the ad- 
miral were but thirty years old, I think he would not differ in 
opinions from the Lord Mountjoy.' And then he goes on to 
speak of Essex's behaviour after his trial, and of those upon 
whom he had most unnecessarily drawn the suspicion of the 
Government. His friend Southampton, his stepfather Blount, 
his secretary Cuffe, were but a few of those to whom he ascribed 
a guilt greater than his own. ' " And now," said he,' so Not- 
tingham continues, ' " I must accuse one who is most nearest Lady Rich, 
to me, my sister, who did continually urge me on with telling 
me how all my friends and followers thought me a coward, and 
that I had lost all my valour ; " and then thus, " that she must 
be looked to, for she had a proud spirit," and spared not to say 
something of her affection to you. Would your lordship have 
thought this weakness and this unnaturalness in this man ? ' 
Lady Rich was accordingly committed to the Lord Admiral's 
house, but bore herself so becomingly that she was at once 
released. In writing to thank her late gaoler for his kindness, 
she says : ' for my deserts towards him that is gone, it is 
known that I have been more like a slave than a sister, which 
proceeded out of my exceeding love, rather than his authority 
.... so strangely have I been wronged, as may well be an 
argument to make one despise the world, finding the smoke 

1 Essex was arrested Feb. 8 and executed Feb. 25. Mountjoy heard 
the news on the 22nd and March 2 respectively. Moryson, book i. ch. ii. 



CHAP, of envy where affection should be clearest.' This letter was 
r sent to Mountjoy, who to do him such justice as is possible 
was true to this most unfortunate Penelope. Five years later, 
when Lord Rich had obtained a mere ecclesiastical divorce 
from his wife, no less a divine than William Laud was induced 
to perform the marriage ceremony between her and her lover, 
and before that date Bacon had addressed to Mountjoy (' be- 
cause you loved my lord of Essex ') his tardy and inadequate 
apology. It was not the fault of Essex that neither his sister 
nor his friend suffered with him.' l 

Steady The Barony of Farney in Monaghan was next invaded, 

Moumjoy. an d tne adherents of Ever MacCooly MacMahon had their 
houses burned, after which Mountjoy stayed for a month at 
Drogheda, and then returned to Dublin. Sick and tired of 
the work which he had to do, he told Carew that he could 
welcome the Spaniards, ' but I fear me,' he added, ' they are 
too wise to come into this country, whom God amend or con- 
found, and send us a quiet return and a happy meeting in the 
land of good meat and clean linen, lest by our long continuing 
here we turn knaves with this generation of vipers, and slovens 
with eating draff with these swine.' The Lord President in the 
meantime was reducing Munster to a quiet state. More than 
4,000 persons were pardoned during January and February, 
and at the end of March, when Desmond left Ireland, there 
was scarcely any more fighting to be done. Carew could 
despatch troops into Connaught, and prevent Tyrone from 
sending help by the road to the Sugane Earl, who lurked, for 
the most part, in Tipperary. Lord Barry very nearly caught 
him, and accused his enemy the White Knight of harbouring 
the traitor. Carew threatened to hold the latter responsible 
for his country, and his fears settled the fugitive's fate. His 
object was to remain at large until the Spaniards came, but, 
as usual, they were too late. Ten years before, a papal arch- 
bishop had written that help was coming. ' Notwithstanding,' 

1 Nottingham to Mountjoy, May 31, 1601, enclosing Lady Rich's letter. 
Notwithstanding the Lord Admiral's playful allusion to 30 years, Mountjoy 
was 38 and Penelope 40. The letters are printed in Goodman's James I. 
ii. 14-20. 


he said, ' that the Catholic King his captains be slow in their CHAP. 

affairs, I am certain that the men are purposed to be sent to > ^ - 

comfort the same poor island, which is in distress a.long time.' 
Another archbishop now urged the last of the Desmonds to 
hold out, ' knowing and firmly hoping that the help of my 
lord the Catholic King is now coming, which when it cometh 
all things shall be prosperous.' The help did come at last, 
but by that time James Fitzthomas was in the Tower. 1 

The Knight's followers, one and all, declared that they The last of 
knew nothing of the hunted man's whereabouts, though some Earl. 
of them were his daily companions. Probably they did not 
believe in their chiefs sincerity, but at last one of them asked 
him if he was really in earnest, and, finding that this was so, 
led him straight to a cave not far from Mitchelstown, many 
fathoms deep, and with a narrow entrance, perhaps the same 
which tourists still visit as a natural curiosity. The Knight 
came to the mouth of the cave with a few men, and summoned 
the occupants to surrender. Desmond's only companion was 
his foster-brother, Thomas OTeighy. Appeals to the spirit 
of clanship were lost both on the Knight and his men, and 
threats were also in vain. Bribes to be paid when the 6,000 
Spaniards held Munster he mentioned the very number 
were not very alluring, and so Tyrone's Earl was given up 
to Sir George Thornton, who conveyed him to Cork. His 
confinement was close, both there and in Dublin, and irons 
were considered necessary. There had been so many escapes 
from the Castle that he did all he could to avoid being sent 
to England by offering to do shadowy services against Tyrone. 
But things were not managed as they had been in Fitz- 
william's time, and to the Tower he came some three months 
later. A year afterwards wages were paid to a watcher with 
him 'in his lunacy,' and he died in the State prison in 1608. 
His brother John remained in rebellion and reached Spain, 
where his son became a Spanish count, and died fighting 

1 Moryson ut sup. ; Mountjoy to Carew, April 10, 1601, in Carew ; 
Edmund MacGauran, titular Archbishop of Armagh, to Captain Eustace 
June if, 1591, MS. Hat field ; Matthew de Oviedo, ' Spanish Archbishop of 
Dublin,' to James Fitzthomas, Jan. ^, 1601-2, in Pacata Hibernia, book i. 
chap. xix. 




in Tyrone 
(June to 

bravely in the imperial service. John Fitzthomas never 
assumed the title of Desmond in Ireland, and it was to avoid 
pretenders that Carew advised the Government to spare the 
elder brother's life. 1 

Mountjoy allowed himself little rest. Having issued 
the currency proclamation, and done what he could to pre- 
pare the troops for the expected Spanish invasion, he started 
again for Dundalk at the end of May. A strong work was 
thrown up in the Moyry pass, effectually blocking Tyrone's 
approach on that side. No serious resistance was offered, 
but carriage was very difficult, and the Lord-Deputy had to 
pay dear for pack-horses. Before the end of June he placed 
a garrison of 750 foot and 100 horse at Armagh. He sur- 
veyed the scene of Bagenal's defeat, and made preparations 
for rebuilding the dismantled fort at Blackwater. A post was 
established at Downpatrick, which brought the Magennis 
family to their knees, and by the middle of July he felt strong 
enough to cross the Blackwater in force. The fords had been 
elaborately fortified by Tyrone with trenches and abattis in 
the Irish manner, but he scarcely ventured to make any 
defence. Some of the colours taken from Bagenal were dis- 
played on the Irish side, but the Queen's troops easily passed 
over, under cover of two small field-guns. A new fort was 
made tenable, and properly entrusted to gallant Captain 
Williams, whose leg was broken by a shot in one of these 
skirmishes. Mountjoy advanced as far as Benburb, the scene 
of Owen Eoe O'Neill's great victory half a century later, and 
there was a great deal of firing ; but Tyrone dared not come 
to close quarters. His men had also to spare their powder, 
while Mountjoy's supply was practically unlimited. Doctor 
Latwar, the chaplain, like Walker at the Boyne, had learned 
to love fighting for its own sake, and 'affecting some sin- 

1 Pacata Hibernia, book ii. chap. iii. White Knight to Carew, May 29, 
1601. Many of the letters &c. on this subject are collected in Irish Arch. 
Journal, 3rd series, vol. i. pp. 544-559. O'Daly wrongly states that the 
Queen's Earl stayed on in Ireland after his rival: he returned to England 
two months before his capture. From State papers calendared under June 
and July, 1608, it appears that John Fitzthomas was then called Earl of 
Desmond in Spain. 


gularity of forwardness more than his place required,' was CHAP. 

mortally wounded in the head. The Lord-Deputy's chief loss ^ - 

was in his Irish auxiliaries, and Moryson coolly notes that 
' the loss of such unpeaceable swordsmen was rather gain to 
the commonwealth.' The latter part of July was spent in 
cutting down the corn, and clearing the woods on both sides 
of the Blackwater, and the fort being then able to take care 
of itself, Mountjoy marched back to Armagh, where he under- 
took similar operations. Piers Lacy, the noted Munster rebel, 
was killed in an abortive attack upon the camp. It was 
Mountjoy's intention to seize Dungannon, and to make it a 
centre of operations in reducing the North, and nearly all 
August was spent in preparing provisions so as to make a 
decisive campaign possible during the following winter. He 
was at Newry or Dundalk on the 29th, when a letter came 
from Carew to say that the Spaniards had been sighted at 
sea. This forced him to draw towards Dublin, but he left 
Ulster firmly bridled by garrisons, and it is evident that 
Tyrone would soon have been reduced to extemities if it 
had not been for the diversion made by the invasion of 
Munster. 1 

An Englishman, named Thomas Walker, who had worn Plot 
out the patience of his friends, and was in danger of prosecu- Tvroms's 
tion for a seditious libel, visited Ireland, as he professed, for llte> 
pleasure and to see the country. He reached Armagh in 
July, and informed Sir Henry Danvers, who was in command 
there, that he was going to kill Tyrone, that the idea was 
entirely his own, and that he required no help. Danvers 
was in command of the garrison, and anxious to do something 
which might wipe out the remembrance of his elder brother's 
treason. He told Walker that the attempt was honourable 
but very dangerous, and advised him to think twice, but 
having consulted Mountjoy, who was in camp hard by, he 
allowed him to pass through the lines. After several narrow 
escapes from loose horsemen, Walker came into Tyrone's 
presence, who turned pale when he heard of the force at 
Armagh. The rebel chief was dressed in a frieze jacket open 
1 May 22 to Aug. 29, 1601 ; Moryson, part ii. book ii. chap. i. 



An Irish 

in front, and 600 or 700 men were in the neighbourhood. 
Walker told him his father had been mixed up with Essex's 
conspiracy, and that he had come for protection, since the 
Queen's government was wont to visit the sins of the fathers 
on the children. Tyrone had tears in his eyes when he spoke 
of Essex's death, and said that Walker was safe with him. 
He asked to see some of the new money, at which he gazed 
earnestly, some of his train saying, ' These wars hath made 
the Queen of England poor, that she coins copper money.' 
On hearing that the device was attributed to Cecil, the Earl 
said he wished he had him there to make him shorter by a 
head. The bystanders used many opprobrious terms, and a 
Spanish captain took occasion to say that his master still 
paid the royallest in the world. For a moment Walker was 
close to Tyrone with a sword in his hand, but his heart failed 
him, and he got no further opportunity. Tyrone attended 
mass, but Walker was not allowed to be present, as he had 
' no godfather.' He was sent on to Dungannon, where he 
found Lady Tyrone and her mother ' in a cott,' and they took 
him to an island stronghold not far off, the fortifications of 
which were still unfinished. They crossed in a canoe and 
four huge hampers of provisions were brought in, each of 
which took three men to carry it. The ladies observed that 
the whole English army would attack them there in vain ; 
but Mountjoy, not many weeks before, had found a soldier to 
swim over and burn the houses in a similar stronghold for 
no greater reward than one angel. Walker was informed 
that he was to go to Scotland, whither Tyrone was in the 
habit of sending all such visitors. He was strictly forbidden 
to return to the camp, and though he offered a round sum 
for a guide no one was found bold enough to disobey the 
chiefs orders. After this he went to Randal MacSorley, 
whose favour he gained by professing to be a good Catholic, 
and who allowed him to go to Chichester at Carrickfergus. 
In the end he was sent back to England. Mountjoy seems 
to have held that there would be no harm in murdering a 
proclaimed rebel upon whose head a price had been set. He 


thought Walker little ' better than frantic, though such a CHAP. 

one was not unfit for such an enterprise.' 1 - 

' Of all the plagues of that time,' says Macaulay in his Brass 
history of 1689, 'none made a deeper or a more lasting im- 
pression on the minds of the Protestants of Dublin than the 
plague of the brass money.' And the great Dutchman is 
still toasted for delivering them from that evil. The attempt 
of James II. to obtain a revenue in this way was the worst, 
but it was neither the first nor the last enterprise of this 
kind. Swift roused the people of Dublin to fury by his 
diatribes against Wood's patent, which, though not all that 
he called it, was nevertheless a scandalous job. Elizabeth's 
father, brother, and sister had issued base coin, and she 
had reaped honour by restoring the standard. And now she 
herself listened to the voice of the tempter, who in this case 
was Lord Treasurer Buckhurst. Had Burghley been alive, 
she would not have been asked to repeat an experiment 
which had always failed. The chosen instrument was Sir 
George Carey, who had succeeded Wallop as Vice-Treasurer. 
The expense of the army in Ireland was great, and Buckhurst 
imagined that it could be lessened by paying the soldiers in 
- debased coin. In those days it was generally held that the 
presence of bullion in a country was an end in itself; and 
it was thought possible to tie the trade of Ireland to Eng- 
land, while preventing the exportation of sterling money to 
foreign lands. The money which went abroad was chiefly 
spent in arms or powder, and this traffic tended to maintain 
the war. The Queen saw clearly that the proposed change 
would do her no credit, and that the army would object to it ; 
but she was hard pressed for money, and allowed herself to 
be persuaded. All coin current in Ireland was accordingly 
cried down by proclamation, and new twelvepenny, sixpenny, 
and threepenny pieces were issued, with a harp on one side, 
and containing only threepence worth of silver to each shilling. 

1 Information of Thomas Walker (taken in England), Oct. 3, 1601, MS. 
Hatfidd ; Walker to Mountjoy, Aug. 22 ; Mount joy to Cecil, Aug. 23. 
Walker maintained that he never thought of killing Tyrone until he found 
himself in Ireland. 




caused by 

All payments were to be made in this rubbish, and no other 
coin was to be considered legal or current. Those who held 
English or foreign money, plate, or bullion ' of the fineness of 
the standard of England or better,' might demand a bill of 
exchange on London, Bristol, or Chester, payable in sterling 
money at a premium of sixpence in the pound. Those who 
held the new coin might bring it to Dublin, Cork, Gal way, 
or Carrickfergus, and demand bills of exchange on the same 
places in England at the rate of nineteen shillings sterling 
to the pound Irish. Those who held English money in 
Ireland were entitled to receive twenty-one shillings Irish for 
every pound, and bills of exchange upon Ireland were given 
at the same rate in England. The old base coin circulating 
in Ireland was made exchangeable for its nominal value in 
the new currency, and the importation of English money 
into Ireland was prohibited. This system of exchange distin- 
guishes Buckhurst's plan from James II. 's, who simply declared 
that the impression of his own hard features turned kettles 
and old cannon into gold and silver ; but it was bad enough. 
At first the full extent of the evil was not seen, and Carew, 
who seems not to have been much more enlightened than the 
Lord Treasurer, thought no great harm would be done. But 
the towns soon began to grumble, and coiners were quickly 
at work, even within royal fortresses. English coin being no 
longer current in Ireland, the lawyers held that there was no 
law to punish those who counterfeited it. The genuine Irish 
coin was so bad that it was easy to imitate it and to leave 
out the silver altogether. Those who were interested in the 
trade gave out that the legal currency contained no silver, 
and so no one knew what anything was worth. The Queen 
lost by the bargain, prices became high and uncertain, and 
the only gainers were those who traded in money. Carey 
controlled the course of exchange, and it was believed that 
he profited very largely. Taught by sad experience, the Irish 
officials at last announced that the whole policy of degrading 
the coin was exceedingly distasteful to soldiers and merchants, 
rich and poor. ' We humbly acknowledge,' they tell the 
Privy Council, ' that experience showeth that the prices of 


things do follow the rate of silver and gold which is in the CHAP. 

money. . . . And when your lordships do think that the >- r 

prices of things by this project shall fall . . . we are not of 

that opinion.' An attempt to restrain the course of exchange 

only made matters worse, and the difficulty extended into the 

next reign, when the English Government at last came to see 

that honesty was the best policy. 1 

1 The proclamation is in Morrin's Patent Rolls, 1601, of which several 
original printed copies are extant, bearing date May 20, 1601. The whole 
story may be read in Carerv, 1601-3, and in the first vol. of Eussell and 
Prendergast's Calendar. See also Camden and Moryson. In Feb. 1603 
Mountjoy wrote : ' the alteration of the coin, and taking away of the ex- 
change, in such measure as it was first promised, hath bred a general 
grievance unto men of all qualities, and so many incommodities to all sorts, 
that it is beyond the judgment of any that I can hear to prevent a con- 
fusion in this estate by the continuance thereof.' 

Moryson says the pretence was that the rebels would be impoverished, 
whereas the Queen's servants were the real sufferers ' we served in dis- 
comfort and came home beggars, so that only the treasurers and paymasters 
had cause to bless the authors of this invention.' 




Rumours of 


at Kinsale 
( Septem- 



CECIL had been right in saying that no Spaniards would 
come in 1600, and he was equally well informed about their 
intentions in the next year. In the autumn he inclined to 
think that they would go to Galway rather than to any part of 
Munster, where the strength of the rebels had been so lately 
and so thoroughly broken. Limerick and Waterford were 
mentioned as probable objects of attack, but Care w thought an 
invader would avoid the former as giving no means of retreat, 
and the latter as being too easily reached from England. 
Cork he thought the most likely to attract them, especially 
as Florence MacCarthy had recommended it, and he set to 
work to remedy its natural weakness as far as possible. ' The 
other towns, he said, ' are neither worth their labours to gain, 
nor her Majesty's charges to defend.' The Spaniards did, in 
fact, aim at Cork, and may have been more easily turned 
aside by hearing that a warm reception awaited them there. 
Carew had in the meantime taken the precaution of arresting 
Florence and sending him to England. It may be doubted 
whether faith was not broken with him ; but there can be no 
doubt of his dealings with Tyrone or with the Spaniards, 
and both the Queen and Cecil approved of his detention. 1 

Cecil warned Carew that the danger of invasion would 
not be over till the middle of October, and at the beginning 
of September Mountjoy thought it prudent to be ready for 
an immediate journey into Munster. On the 21st both 

1 Carew to the Privy Council, Aug. 6, 1601 ; Cecil to Carew, Sept. 5 
both in Carew. ' For Desmond (James Fitzthomas),' says Cecil, ' I find 
him more discreet than I have heard of him, and for Florence the same 
which I ever expected, which is a malicious, vain fool.' Pacata Hibernia, 
lib. ii. cap. (J. 


Deputy and President were Ormonde's guests at Kilkenny, CHAP. 
and on the next day an express came to say that the Spaniards - -^ ' 
had been sighted off the Old Head of Kinsale. Captain 
Love, in a small pinnace, had descried them at sea off Cape 
Finisterre a fortnight before, had noted that they were full 
of soldiers, and had made sail for Cork harbour, to give the 
alarm. This says much for the superior sailing power of the 
English, but it is possible that the ships seen by Love were 
those which were driven into Corunna by bad weather. Lisbon 
had been the original point of departure. The main fleet, with 
Don Juan D'Aguila on board, arrived off Cork, but found the 
wind blowing out of the harbour's mouth and did not attempt 
an entrance. They had already passed Kinsale, to which 
port they returned, and on September 23 Don Juan dis- 
embarked all his men, without opposition. The garrison, 
which was less than 100 strong, evacuated the town, most of 
the substantial inhabitants accompanying them with their 
goods, and the Spaniards marched in with twenty-five colours. 
The ' sovereign,' with his white staff, saw them properly 
billeted, and it was noticed that he did it with more alacrity 
than if he had been providing quarters for the Queen's 
troops. 1 

On the news reaching Kilkenny, a council was held. Mountjoy 
Ormonde and Wingfield advised the Lord Deputy to return Munster. 
to Dublin and prepare his forces, while the Lord President 
went to prepare supplies at Cork. But Carew urged Mount- 
joy to start at once for Munster, though with his page only. 
If the provincials, he said, saw the chief governor's back 
turned they would think he lacked forces, and there would 
be a general revolt. The army too would make more haste 
when the general had gone before. These arguments prevailed, 
and when Mountjoy heard that Carew had provided supplies 
enough to support the whole army for two or three months, 
he rose from his chair and embraced him with many cordial 
words. Carew had 100 horse with him, and, thus escorted, 
the two set out together next day. A night was passed with 

1 Journal in Carew, No. 198; Pacata Hibernia, cap. 10; Carew to the 
Privy Council, Sept. 14. 




the Pope's 

Lord Dunboyne at Kiltinan, another at Clonmel, and a third- 
at Lord Roche's castle of Glanworth. After spending one 
day at Cork, Mountjoy went with some horse to a point over- 
looking Kinsale, and found that most of the Spanish ships 
were gone. There had already been a little skirmish in the 
neighbourhood of the town, but no serious attempt could be 
made to disturb the strangers for nearly three weeks. Don 
Juan spent the interval in strengthening his position, and in 
trying to make friends with the country people. In this he 
had very little success, for the weight of Carew's hand was still 
felt, and it was evident that the cloud which was gathering 
at Cork would soon burst. 1 

The Spaniards brought arms for the country people, but 
very few of them came in, and they were ordered by Mount- 
joy to drive all their cattle to the eastward of the Carrigaline 
river. The corn for five miles round Kinsale was burned, and 
the inhabitants were warned by proclamation not to take part 
with the Pope and the King of Spain, who were unjustly 
maintaining rebels against their anointed sovereign. Among 
those who accompanied Don Juan was Matthew de-Oviedo, a 
Spanish Franciscan who had been papal commissary with 
Desmond twenty years before, and who was now titular 
Archbishop of Dublin; and he was probably the author 
of the Latin counter-proclamation. In this document the 
deposing power is claimed for the Pope, and its exercise by 
Pius V., Gregory XIII., and Clement VIII. is treated as con- 
clusive. Elizabeth being thus made a mere usurping heretic, 
the Irish]are absolved from all allegiance to her and are ordered 
to support the Catholic cause, on pain of being considered 
heretics themselves. In his own name the Archbishop wrote 
to O'Neill and O'Donnell, and Don Juan sent more than 
one messenger to hasten their coming. The Spaniards were 
without cavalry, having been given to undertand that horses 
would be provided for the 1,600 saddles which they brought 
with them. Finding no allies, they had thus no means of 

1 Pacata Hibernia, caps. 9, 10, and 11. The Spanish ships are described 
as fifty, forty-five, and thirty-five. The latter number probably came to 
Kinsale with Don Juan. Storms and accidents account for the rest. 
Small vessels had been purposely chosen, with a view to the Irish harbours. 


acting on the offensive, and the English horse rode up to the CHAP. 

very gates of Kinsale. The townsfolk were encouraged to r ' 

withdraw their families and property, and were allowed to 
come and go until October 8, ' without any imputation of 
treason.' Don Juan gave them equal liberty ; and this increased 
his chance of a successful defence, for he had about 4,000 
men, and there were only about 200 houses in the town. 
Lord Barry went to Galbally with such forces as he could 
collect, in the hope of intercepting Tyrone on his march 
southwards, and Mountjoy made such haste as was possible 
to be at Kinsale before him. 1 

On October 16 Mountjoy marched out of Cork, encamping Kinsale 
on the first night at the Carrigaline river, and on the second (October), 
under Knock Robin, a hill close to Kinsale. Ten days were 
spent in the wet fields without the means to entrench, for it 
was thought that longer delay would have a bad moral effect. 
At last the ships, with guns and tools, came to Cork, and were 
sent round to Oyster Haven, where there was no difficulty in 
unlading them. Don Juan had garrisoned Castle Park, on 
the west side of Kinsale Harbour, probably in the vain hope 
of preventing the entry of English vessels. He had another 
outpost at Eincurren on the east side, but neither work gave 
serious annoyance to the army, which was now entrenched on 
the Spittle hill, to the north side of the town. Carew found 
the artillery in very bad order; but the delay was of no 
service to the Spaniards, whose boats were effectually kept 
off by Captain Button in his pinnace. At last two pieces 
opened on Rincurren, ' but within two or three shot the 
carriage of the better culverin brake, and, about two of the 
clock in the afternoon, the other received a flaw.' The rest 
of the day was occupied in mending the carriage of the sound 
gun, and Don Juan tried to make a diversion by dragging 
artillery out of the town and firing into the camp. Two 
men were killed near the Lord Deputy's tent, and two hogs- 
heads of his beer broached, but no serious harm was done. 
In the morning ' the culverin began to play, and about nine 
of the clock the demi-culverin was mounted, which after a 

1 Pacata Hibernia, caps. 10 and 11 ; Warrants in Carew, Sept. 28. 




Progress of 
the siege 

few shot brake her axletree ; before three she was remounted, 
and by that time a cannon likewise planted, and all three 
pieces without intermission played.' But Carew thought the 
fire too vague, and, having obtained Mountjoy's leave, he laid 
the guns himself, so that the fire might converge on one spot. 
The true range was got with a quadrant, and the cannonade 
was thus continued after sunset. Another attempt was made 
to relieve the post by land, but this was frustrated, with loss 
to the besieged, and by six o'clock the Spaniards in the castle 
called for a parley. They offered to surrender the fort on 
condition of being allowed to depart with arms and baggage. 
This was refused, a further parley declined, and the battery 
continued until two in the morning, when many of the 
besieged attempted to escape by the waterside. Twenty-three 
Spaniards were taken and thirty killed. Of the Irish all the 
fighting men escaped, but churls, women, and children were 
taken. The captain in command had his leg broken, and his 
subaltern, Don Bartholomeo Paez de Clavijo, was forced to 
surrender next morning, being allowed to carry out his own 
sword and give it up to Carew in person. He was quite 
ready to blow up the fort, with himself and all his men in it, 
but the eighty-six surviving soldiers threatened to throw him 
over the walls. The lives of the Spaniards were spared, and 
they were sent to Cork, but no terms had been granted to the 
Irish, of whom Dermot MacCarthy, called Don Dermutio, was 
the only person of note. He had been in Florence's service, 
had lived in Spain as a pensioner, and was able to disclose 
many important secrets. He was, however, afterwards hanged 
at Cork ' 

A few days after the first success Thomond arrived from 
England with 1,000 foot and 100 horse, after having been 
blown far to the westward and forced to take refuge in Castle 
Haven. Both men and horses were worn out by the long 
confinement on board, and had to be sent to Cork to recruit. 
About the same time Sir Richard Leveson arrived with his 
squadron and 2,000 soldiers, and the ships were warped into 

1 Pacata Hibernia, cap. 13 ; Fynes Moryson, part ii. book ii. chap. ii. ; 
Journal in Carem (No. 199) Oct. 29 to Nov. 1. 


harbour in spite of the wind. Neither guns nor men were CHAP. 

now wanting, and the siege began in earnest. The camp ^- - 

had already been fortified on the north side, so as to prevent 
an attack by Tyrone's forces, which were daily expected, and 
Castle Park, on the south side of the harbour, was taken, 
after two ineffectual attempts. After a long cannonade the 
Spaniards, who were but seventeen in number, surrendered, 
and it is hard to see how so small a garrison could ever have Castle 
been expected to maintain itself. The fact probably was that taken. 
Don Juan expected to find an Irish army to help him, and 
that he found an English one instead. Mountjoy's camp was 
thoroughly fortified, and his approaches almost completed 
before any relieving force appeared. O'Donnell had, how- 
ever, been long on his way. On hearing of the Spanish 
descent he at once raised the siege of Donegal, and, accom- 
panied by Brian Oge O'Rourke, MacDermot, and others, 
including some Munster exiles, marched from Ballymote 
through Roscommon and Galway to Shannon Harbour, where 
he was ferried across, and through Westrneath and King's 
County into Tipperary. At Moydrum, in O'Meagher's country, 
between Roscrea and Templemore, he lay for three weeks 
waiting for Tyrone, and the annalists observe, with apparent 
pride, that his people ' continued plundering, burning, and 
ravaging the country around them, so that there was no want 
of anything necessary for an army in his camp, for any period, 
short or long.' The Irish and Catholic hero knew no better 
way to advance the cause than by harrying people who were 
as Irish and as Catholic as himself. 1 

A council of war decided to send Carew to Tipperary, in O'Donnell 
the hope of intercepting O'Donnell before his junction with Tvrone 
Tyrone. Carew obeyed, though he considered the expedition 
useless. Having the goodwill of the country O'Donnell was 
sure to have news of his coming, and against such a light- 
footed enemy he expected to have no better success than 
Ormonde had with Tyrone. He left the camp on November 7, 
with 1,000 foot and 250 horse, and was afterwards joined 

1 Journal in Carew, Nos. 199 and 200 ; Four Masters, 1601 ; Docwra's 
Narratwn. p. 257. Castle Park fell on Nov. 20. 

D D 2 






by Sir Christopher St. Laurence's regiment and by the irre- 
gular forces under Lord Barry's command. On arriving at 
Ardmayle on the Suir, he found that there was no possi- 
bility of attacking O'Donnell among the bogs and woods, but 
supposed that the latter would hardly be able to go by without 
fighting, for the mountains of Slieve Phelim, which in sum- 
mer offered a road into Limerick, were impassable from the 
rain. A great and sudden frost disconcerted these plans, and 
O'Donnell made a night march of over twenty Irish miles on 
hard ground. More than 200 years later Lord Anglesea had 
personal experience of a winter's ride over these hills, and 
his sufferings resulted in the road which still bears his name. 
Carew hastened to intercept O'Donnell on his descent into 
Limerick, but found that he had already passed. To follow 
him into the wilds of Connello would be to court disaster, 
and there was nothing for it but to return to Kinsale. 1 

Meanwhile the siege went slowly on, Mountjoy having 
an excellent engineer officer in Captain Josiah Bodley, whose 
elder brother founded the great Oxford library. Six guns 
were mounted in the trenches, and Sir Richard Leveson's 
ships directed their fire upon the lower town. The Spaniards 
made frequent sallies, which were always repulsed, and they 
were unable to prevent the erection of more batteries. About 
twenty guns altogether were placed in position, and great 
execution was done both upon the Spaniards and upon their 
works. Being summoned to surrender, Don Juan said he 
would hold it against all enemies, first for Christ and then for 
the King of Spain, and on December 2 he made his great 
effort. 2,000 men sallied forth about 8 o'clock at night, 
and attacked the trenches with great determination. In the 
darkness and rain they succeeded at first, but reinforcements 
came up fast, and they were beaten back with a loss of 200 men 
killed and as many wounded. They spiked one gun, but this 
was afterwards made serviceable, and it was now evident that 
the garrison could do nothing unless they were relieved by 

1 Four Masters, 1601 ; Pacata Hibernia, cap. 14 ; Journal in Carerv, 
No, 200 ; Carew to Mountjoy, Nov. 22. Carcw returned to the camp on 
Nov. 26. 


Tyrone or by reinforcements from Spain. Next day there was CHAP. 

a report, which turned out to be true, that more Spaniards ^ 

had come to Castle Haven. Twelve ships had sailed from but are de- 
Corunna, but of these only six reached Ireland, and finding theEngiish 
the Queen's ships in Kinsale harbour, they did not venture fleet> 
to put in there. About 700 men were landed, and with these 
O'Donnell effected a junction. Sir Richard Leveson went 
round, with four men of war and two tenders, and the roar of 
his guns was heard in Mountjoy's camp. The result was that 
only one Spanish ship escaped ; the rest were sunk or driven 
ashore. Five guns had, however, been landed, and some 300 
rounds were fired at the admiral, who was windbound for 
twenty-four hours. At last he warped his ship out with 
boats, and returned to Kinsale. 1 

Early in November Tyrone began his southward march. Tyrone 
He plundered the western part of the Pale, and made his the neigh- 
way slowly to the Bandon river, which then flowed through (Decem- 
dense woods. ' O'Donnell,' said Fenton, ' and Tyrone follow- ber )' 
ing after, used all the means they could to work the Irish 
royalists to their side, but have reduced none of reckoning, for 
anything yet discovered : only they both made havoc of some 
countries, as a revenge to the loyalists that refused to rise 
with them.' At the news of Tyrone's approach Mountjoy 
completed the investment of Kinsale, by erecting a small work 
to the west side of the town. Next day the Irish horse 
showed themselves within two miles, and on the day after that 
Leveson's squadron again entered the harbour. The camp was 
strengthened against an attack from the land side, and the 
Spaniards made several fruitless attempts to interrupt the 
work by sallies. Cooped up within narrow limits and sub- 
sisting wholly on biscuit, the invaders suffered terribly by the 
almost incessant cannonade, and Don Juan grew anxious. In 
a letter which was intercepted he besought Tyrone and 
O'Donnell to relieve him. The besiegers, he said, were 
wearied by their labours in the wet fields, and were unable to 
man a third part of the trenches. The assailants, who should 

1 Journal in Carem (No. 200) Nov. 29 to Dec. 9 Pacata Hibernia 
caps. 17, 18, and 19 ; Cecil 1o Carew, Feb. 9, 1602. 


CHAP, be well seconded on his side, were sure to succeed, ' and 

*-. ^ ' being once mingled with the enemies their forts will do them 

as much harm as us.' 1 

fcuQiariM ^ ne on ty a ^^ es gained by Tyrone in Munster were in 
West Cork and Kerry, and they did not declare themselves 
until the Spanish reinforcements arrived at Castle Haven. 
Castlemaine held out for the Queen, but Thomas Fitzmaurice 
Baron of Lixnaw came with O'Donnell from the north, and 
recovered the castle which gave him his title and two others. 
O'Connor Kerry surprised his own castle of Carrigafoyle and 
killed the guard, which consisted only of a sergeant and twelve 
men. Sir Fineen O'Driscoll, ' who never in the course of his 
whole life had been tainted with the least spot of disloyalty,' 
gave up his castles at Baltimore to the Spaniards, and 
O'Sullivan Bere did the same with Dunboy. Most of the 
O'Sullivans and MacCarthies were engaged, but Sir Cormac 
MacDermot, lord of Muskerry, remained with Mountjoy, who 
took care so to employ him as to attract Don Juan's attention. 
Sir Cormac had, however, an understanding with the Spanish 
general, and promised him to deliver up the Lord President 
alive or dead. Carew knew all about it, but ate, drank, rode, 
and conferred privately with this dangerous ally, whose design 
perhaps was only to make himself safe in case the Spaniards 
should triumph in the end, or in case he should fall into their 
hands. Tyrone had with him MacMahon, Maguire, Randal 
MacSorley, MacDonnell, and some of the O'Connors and Burkes, 
but his chief dependence was upon Captain Richard Tyrrell 
and his mercenaries. 2 

Dangerous Placed between two fires, Mountjoy 's position was critical 

oTthe 11 enough, and Tyrone's plan was to blockade him. On 

besiegers. December 21 the Irish, with whom were a small body of 

Spaniards, showed themselves in force to the east of the camp, 

and they had complete possession of the country between the 

Bandon and Carrigaline rivers. The line of communication 

1 Journal in Carew (Nos. 200 and 201) Dec. 7-20; Letters of Don 
Juan d'Aguila, Dec. , in Pacata Hibernia ; Fenton to the Queen, Dec. 4, 
printed in the Ulster Journal of A reh&ology, vi. p. 64. 

2 Pacata Hibernia, caps. 15 and 18 ; Four Masters, 1601. 


for supplies was thus cut off, no forage could be obtained, and CHAP 

it was decided by a council of war on December 23 that the ^ ' 

horse should be sent away to Cork. 

The situation was indeed not unlike that of Cromwell 
before Dunbar, the English having the command of the sea, 
and the enemy that of the land. If no battle had been offered 
him, Mountjoy might have been forced to abandon the siege. 
The Spaniards made sallies every night, and Don Juan, some 
of whose letters were intercepted, urged Tyrone to attack the 
camp. According to the annalists, he wished to pursue the 
Fabian tactics which had so often succeeded, but was over- 
ruled by O'Donnell, who was ' oppressed at heart and ashamed 
to hear the complaint and distress of the Spaniards without 
relieving them.' The attack might have been successful 
had there not been treachery in the Irish camp. Brian 
MacHugh Oge MacMahon, who was one of Tyrone's chief 
officers, had a son who had been Carew's page, and this gave 
an excuse for some friendly intercourse. A bottle of whiskey 
was sought and given for old acquaintance' sake, and when 
thanking Carew for his civility, MacMahon found means to 
disclose Tyrone's plans. Thus warned, Mountjoy doubled the 
guards and had all the soldiers ready to fall in at short notice. 
A flying column of about 1,000 men was kept under arms, 
and at daybreak on December 24, the enemy's lighted matches 
were seen in great numbers towards the north-west. 1 

It had been arranged that the camp should be attacked Tyrono 
as midnight, and that the besieged should make a sally upon Mountjoy, 
the trenches at the same time. Forewarned as he was, 
Mountjoy might have found it hard to resist such a com- 
bined onset, but there were other reasons for the failure of 
his assailants. ' The chiefs,' say the Irish annalists, ' were at 
variance, each of them contending that he himself should go 
foremost in the night's attack, so that they set out from their 
camp in three strong battalions, shoulder to shoulder, and 

1 Journal in Carew (No. 201) Dec. 21-3 ; Pacata Hibemia, cap. 21 ; 
Moryson. The Four Masters and O'Sullivan both say the English were on 
their guard, and the former note the report of treachery, but without giving 
MacMahon's name. 



elbow to elbow. O'Neill with the Kinel-Owen and others 
were in a strong battalion apart ; O'Donnell, with the Kinel- 
Connell, his sub-chieftains, and the Connaught men in general, 
formed the second battalion ; those gentlemen of Munster, 
Leinster, and Meath, with their forces, who had risen up in 
the confederacy of the Irish war, and who had been in banish- 
ment in Ulster during the preceding part of this year, were 
in the third.' Misled by his guides, O'Donnell wandered 
about all night, and when morning broke, Tyrone with 
O'Sullivan and the Spaniards found themselves close to the 
English lines and unsupported. It is very difficult to under- 
/ stand the plan of attack. Mountjoy's information was to the 
effect that the Castle Haven Spaniards, with 800 Irish under 
Tyrrell, intended to throw themselves into the town, join the 
garrison, and renew the combined attack on the following 
night with every chance of success. What really happened 
was that the Irish fell into confusion on finding themselves 
suddenly faced by a well-prepared enemy. Intending a sur- 
and is com- prise, they were surprised themselves. Tyrone drew off his 
horse to re-form them, and the foot, supposing him to be flying, 
began to waver on all sides. O'Donnell came up at this time, 
but all the endeavours of the chiefs were vain, for the ground 
was flat and open, and there was no scope for O'Neill's tactics. 
Seeing the enemy in disarray, though still unbroken, Wing- 
field obtained leave to act on the offensive, and Clanricarde 
importuned him not to lose this chance. Tyrrell and the 
Spaniards stood firm, and the English horse passed between 
them and Tyrone's main body. A small bog had to be passed, 
but the troopers struggled through it, and but little resistance 
was offered. * All,' says O'Sullivan, 'were seized with panic 
terror, or rather routed by divine vengeance.' The Spaniards, 
who were less fleet of foot than their allies, made a stand 
about the ruins of an old castle, but were cut to pieces. 
Their leader, Alonso del Campo, was taken and five other 
officers killed. The Irish lost something like 2,000 men, 
while on the English side there was but one fatal casualty. 1 


1 Mountjoy's report is in Carers (No. 201). His private secretary, 
Fynes Moryson, the historian, was present. Carew's account is in Pacata 


' The Earl of Clanricarde,' says Mountjoy, ' had many fair 
escapes, being shot through his garments, and no man did 
bloody his sword more than his lordship that day, and would 
not suffer any man to take any of the Irish prisoners, but bid Irish - 
them kill the rebels.' He despatched a score at least with 
his own hand, and the Lord-Deputy knighted him on the 
field among the dead bodies, some of which were probably 
those of his kinsmen. The pursuit continued for two miles, 
and the slaughter must have been much greater but that the 
half-starved horses could go no farther. The whole army was 
paraded, and public thanksgiving was offered for the victory. 
Indeed, both sides spoke of a special interposition of Pro-" 
vidence, and old prophecies were remembered or invented 
to suit the occasion. Greatly dejected, Tyrone withdrew to 
Innishannon, and no further attempt was made to relieve 
Kinsale. 'There prevailed,' say the annalists, 'much reproach 
on reproach, moaning and dejection, melancholy and anguish, 
in every quarter throughout the camp. They slept not 
soundly, and scarcely did they take any refreshment.' Next 
day it was decided that O'Donnell and others should go to O'Donnell 
Spain, and that his brother Rory with the rest of the Ulster Spain? 
chiefs should go home, Tyrrell and some of the Burkes re- 
maining in Munster under the general command of O'Sullivan 
Bere. With a shrewd knowledge of Irish politics O'Donnell 
urged that the whole army should remain in the south until 
he could bring fresh reinforcements from Spain, for that those 
who had been affectionate and kind to them when advancing, 
would plunder and mock them on their return. Tyrone was 
perhaps ready to renew the conflict in Munster, but the 
Celtic army broke up into its component parts, and each 
clan struggled northwards separately under its own chief. 
Their road was by Mallow, Groom, and Abington, and Disastrous 
O'Donnell's words came true, for ' they which did kiss them 
in their going forward, did both strip them, and shoot bullets 

Hibernia. The Four Masters and O'Sullivan Bere are to be preferred for 
the movements of the Irish, and the latter may have learned some parti- 
culars from his uncle. See also Sir H. Power (who commanded the flying 
column) to Cecil, Dec. 27. 



and Irish. 

at them on their return, and for their arms they did drown 
them and tread them down in every bog and soft place.' 
200 perished in crossing the Blackwater, the Maigue, and 
the Mulkear. Horseflesh was their only food, the wearied 
animals sinking with the wounded, who were left to their 
fate, or being killed by riders whom they could no longer 
carry. The principal chiefs were borne in litters, and Tyrone 
arrived quite unexpectedly in Cavan, where he killed a few 
cows for his exhausted followers. Not less than 3,000 men 
and 500 horses were believed to have been lost, besides all 
baggage, and the survivors were utterly demoralised. * A troop 
of women,' said Carew, ' might have beaten Tyrone's army.' l 
Bagenal's death was avenged, and his brother-in-law's 
military reputation destroyed. Irish writers lay the chief 
blame on Don Juan d'Aguila, and yet he does not seem to 
have been the real cause of failure. His constant sallies cer- 
tainly betray no inactivity, and the failure of Tyrone to keep 
the appointed time is quite enough to account for his not 
making one at the critical moment. His was the common 
fate of every Spaniard who had attempted to attack Elizabeth 
within the bounds of her hereditary possessions. Spanish 
organisation had become thoroughly bad, while that of the 
English improved daily. Mountjoy and Carew were good 
managers, but they were well seconded from home, and some- 
times the Queen even anticipated their wants. She felt that 
her work would be incomplete if she left Ireland unsubdued, 
and the strength of her last years was ungrudgingly spent in 
that work. Don Juan saw that nothing could be made of an 
Irish alliance against such a Queen and such devoted servants. 
It was clear that Kinsale could never be relieved but by fresh 
efforts in Spain, and he had seen what Irish storms and 

1 Four Masters, 1602 ; Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, 
Jan. 14 ; Carew to same, Jan. ; Sir F. Stafford to Cecil (from Newry) 
Jan. 14; Clanricarde to Cecil (from Cork) Jan. 15. ' The rebels are utterly 
forsaken of all aid from the Spaniards, and not able to make any head. 
O'Donnell is made away for Spain, as we think. I do not think we have 
lost fewer than 3,000 men ; by rights and hurts not above 300, all the rest 
by sickness.' Captain A. Enfield, R.N., to Fulke Greville, Jan. 6. in 12th 
Report of Historical MSS. Commission Coke MSS. 


English sailors could do. The town would be taken by CHAP. 

assault, and the accompanying carnage would be of no service ^ ' 

either to King or Pope. For six days after the battle the 
siege operations were resumed and the approaches brought 
very near the walls, and on the seventh Don Juan sent out his 
drum-major and an officer bearing a letter. He asked that 
a confidential messenger might be sent into the town to confer 
with him, an officer of like rank being given as surety for his Kinsale 
safe return. J3ir William Godolphin was accordingly sent in, capl l 
and Don Pedro Enriquez came out into the camp. Don Juan 
told Godolphin that he had found the Irish weak and bar- 
barous, and he could not be sure that they were not perfidious. 
Mountjoy, on the contrary, he had found a sharp and powerful 
enemy, and, on the whole, he was ready to capitulate. If 
fair conditions were not accorded, he would bury himself alive 
rather than yield. He professed not to be urged by necessity, 
but by a just disdain and spleen conceived against the Irish. 
Godolphin returned with his message, and on his second visit 
he was authorised to hold out hope of fair terms. Mountjoy 
took care to say that he had the game in his own hands, as 
indeed he had, but he was anxious to save blood and to show 
her Majesty's clemency. Where both sides wished for peace 
there could be little difficulty about arranging the terms. 
Don Juan declared that he felt himself absolved from all 
engagements to the Irish. His master had sent him to 
co-operate with the Condees O'Neill and O'Donnell, who had 
long delayed their coming ; and when they did come they 
were shamefully defeated by a handful of men, and ' blown 
asunder into divers parts of the world.' O'Neill had fled to 
Ulster, and O'Donnell to Spain, ' so as now,' he said, ' I find 
no such Condees in rerum naturd (for those were the very 
words he used) as I came to join withal, and therefore have 
moved this accord the rather to disengage the King, my 
master, from assisting a people so unable in themselves that 
the whole burden of the war must lie upon him, and so per- 
fidious as perhaps might be induced in requital of his favour 
at last to betray him.' l 

1 A short relation of the siege of Kinsale in Carew (No. 202) signed by 



to the 

Both parties were eager for a settlement, for the loss 
by sickness had been great on the Queen's side ; and the nego- 
tiations were short. Don Juan undertook to surrender not 
only Kinsale, but also Castle Haven, Baltimore, and Dunboy. 
Mountjoy contracted for the safe conveyance of all the 
Spaniards and their allies into Spain, and for their victualling 
and good treatment during the necessary interval. The 
Spaniards were bound not to serve again against Queen 
Elizabeth until after they had been actually landsd in Spain. 
More than 3,000 officers and soldiers were embarked under 
the terms of this convention, besides many priests and monks, 
' and a great company of Irish.' The articles were signed on the 
2nd of January, on the 3rd Don Juan dined with Mountjoy, and 
on the 4th a Spanish ship appeared off Kinsale. A boat was 
sent out to say that the stranger might enter safely, for that 
Don John and the Lord Deputy were now very good friends. 
The Spanish captain hauled the boat's crew on board and at 
once made sail, and thus the first news of the surrender of 
Kinsale was carried to Spain about five weeks later. Another 
vessel with letters put into Berehaven, and the packet was sent 
up by land to Don Juan, who, with his principal officer, had 
accompanied Mountjoy to Cork. Carew, with the latter's 
consent, had the messenger robbed on the road, but without 
hurting him. Don Juan's suspicions were aroused, and he was 
not satisfied with the explanation given, but a proclamation 
was issued offering a reward for the discovery of the thieves. 
Spanish dignity was saved and Mountjoy kept the letters, 
which were of great importance. Large reinforcements were 
preparing in Spain, and the King wrote to say that he had 
heard of the defeat of Tyrone and O'Donnell, and that he 
nevertheless depended on Don Juan to maintain himself 
until help arrived. Details of the intended aid were given 
in other letters, and it was probable that had the news come 
earlier Kinsale would not have fallen, or at least would have 

Mountjoy, Carew, and others. O'Sullivan and others say the English out- 
numbered Tyrone's forces. It is true that the Irish made no general or 
united effort, but only a small section of Mountjoy's army was actually 
engaged. Moryson, who was present, says the former were 6,000 foot and 
500 horse, the latter barely 1,200 and 400. 


had to be taken by storm. Carew had strongly urged that 
a golden bridge should be provided for a still formidable 
enemy, and the wisdom of this advice cannot be doubted. 1 

Baltimore and Castle Haven were soon taken. The O' Sullivan 

. Till /~V>T-V i determines 

Spaniards gave no trouble, but the Driscolls made some to defend 
futile attempts at resistance. At Berehaven the task was 
more serious. The Spaniards had increased the natural 
strength of Dunboy Castle by throwing up earthworks, on 
which they had mounted three small cannon. On hearing of 
the capitulation they were ready to surrender, but Donnell 
O'Sullivan refused to be bound by the articles. Bringing 
1,000 men quietly under the walls, he mastered the castle by 
surprise and forced the Spanish captain and some gunners 
to remain. The other Spaniards were sent to Baltimore, and 
preparations were made for a desperate resistance. O'Sullivan 
wrote an eloquent letter to Philip III., as to his sovereign 
lord, in which he denied Don Juan's right to surrender his 
castle, which alone protected his property and the people 
living along twenty leagues of coast. He begged for help, 
and if help could not be given, then he asked that means 
might at least be provided to carry himself and his family ^5^,^ 
to Spain. 2 

Don Juan sailed on March 16. At Cork he lived familiarly Spanish 
with Carew, and presented him with a book on fortification \^^ a 
as a keepsake. The Irish in Spain brought so many charges P lltics< 
against Don Juan that he was imprisoned, and he died soon 
afterwards under restraint. He lived long enough to bring 
many counter-charges, and as late as 1618 there was a 
wretched Spanish sergeant in prison at Ghent, who believed 
that he owed his miseries to complaints made by Don Juan 
d'Aguila of his conduct at Kinsale. The Spaniards were 
getting tired of war with England, in which they were nearly 
always worsted, and of alliances with the Irish, which had 
brought them nothing but loss. Don Juan made direct 

1 Translations of the letters from the Duke of [Lerma and others are in 
Pacata Hibernia, ii. chap, xxvi., the terms of capitulation (Jan. 2, 1602) in 
chap, xxiii. See Carew to the Privy Council, Jan. 

2 Letters to the King of Spain and the Governor of Galicia in Pacata 
Hibernia, ii. chap, xxviii. 




of this 



advances to Mountjoy, and Captain Roger Harvey, Carew's 
nephew, had a curious conversation at Baltimore with Don 
Pedro de Soto, an officer of high rank, who thought there was 
no real reason why England and Spain should be at war. 
King Philip, said this candid Spaniard, had indeed a great 
revenue, ' but the infinite number of garrisons which he is 
daily forced to maintain, would devour another such Indies, 
if he had them.' If the Queen would only stand neutral in 
the Netherland quarrel, there might easily be peace between 
two great nations. This conversation afterwards induced 
Carew to intrigue a little in Spain. Nothing came directly 
of it, but Don Pedro's feelings were perhaps those of many in 
the peninsula, and the way was paved for a change as soon as 
Elizabeth was gone. 1 

Excepting that of Londonderry, the siege of Kinsale is 
the most important in Irish history. Spain was to Elizabeth 
what the French monarchy was to William III. In both 
cases England headed the Protestant world against what 
threatened to become a European despotism. In both cases 
Ireland was used by the dominant Catholic power to create a 
diversion, and not for her own sake. The defeat of Tyrone 
and the subsequent surrender of Kinsale put an end to 
Spanish attempts on Ireland, as the breaking of the boom 
across the Foyle made French attempts virtually hopeless. 
In both cases it became evident that whoever ruled in London 
must necessarily be supreme upon both sides of St. George's 
Channel. D'Avaux, and even James II. himself, had as little 
sympathy with the Irish as Juan d'Aguila. 

The official account of the battle of Kinsale was sent over 
by Henry Danvers, and the Queen gave most gracious thanks 
to Mountjoy, as well as to Thomond and Clanricarde. But 
Carew contrived that the first news should be brought to 
London by his friend Boyle, whose activity and good fortune 
were shown in a remarkable way. ' I left my Lord President,' 
he said, ' at Shandon Castle, near Cork, on Monday morning 

1 Pacata Hibernia, ii. chap. xxix. and iii. chap. xiii. Don Pedro de 
Heredia to Lord Carew, April I, 1618, and the answer, Oct. 21, both in 
Carem. Don Juan's peaceful proposals are mentioned by Moryson. 


about two of the clock, and the next day delivered my packet, CHAP. 

and supped with Sir Robert Cecil, being then principal ^ 

Secretary, at his house in the Strand; who, after supper, 
held me in discourse till two of the clock in the morning, and 
by seven that morning called upon me to attend him to the 
court, where he presented me to her Majesty in her bed- 
chamber; who remembered me, calling me by name, and 
giving me her hand to kiss, telling me that she was glad that 
I was the happy man to bring the first news of the glorious 
victory. And after her Majesty had interrogated with me 
upon sundry questions very punctually, and that therein I 
gave her full satisfaction in every particular, she gave me 
again her hand to kiss, and commanded my despatch for 
Ireland, and so dismissed me with grace and favour.' Boyle 
does not say by what route he made the journey from Cork 
to London in such a wonderfully short time ; but the place 
of landing was probably Bristol. With a south-west wind 
and a flood tide in the Avon the feat is possible ; but it is 
probably without a parallel. And great must have been the 
endurance of the man who, after galloping from Bristol to 
London, sat up talking till two in the morning, and was on 
his feet again at seven. The picture is a curious one, and it 
is interesting to note how this brilliant and successful man, 
writing more than thirty years afterwards and in the fulness 
of wealth and honours, is careful to record that he twice kissed 
Queen Elizabeth's hand. 1 

The Queen was at first inclined to think the Spaniards Great cost 
had too easy terms, but declared herself satisfied when she of the war ' 
had heard the whole story. The expense of the war and the 
waste of English blood was terrible, and she would not de- 
prive even Tyrone of hope. He found means to make over- 
tures very soon after the siege of Kinsale, and Cecil told 
Mountjoy privately that he did not think her inexorable, 
though the fear of being cajoled did not, as she wrote, 
' permit her to hold any other way with the arch-traitor than 
the plain way of perdition.' But the capitulation had been 

1 The Queen to Mountjoy, Jan. 12, in Moryson ; the Earl of Cork's Frue 


CHAP, granted 'to save the blood of her subjects, dearer to her 

' r than revenge or glory,' and the same consideration prevented 

her from driving Tyrone to desperation. In the meantime 
the army was to be reduced, and the rebellion extinguished 
in detail. Carew accompanied Mountjoy to Waterford and 
Kilkenny, whence he returned into Munster. The Lord 
Deputy went on to Dublin, where he lay inactive for some 
weeks, completely disabled by the hardships of the late siege. 1 

1 The Queen to Mountjoy, Feb. 8 1601 ; Cecil to Mountjoy, received 
July 8, both in Moryson. 



THE END OF THE REIGN, 1602-1603. 

STARVATION by means of garrisons was Mountjoy 's prescrip- CHAP. 

tion for the Irish malady, and this treatment he pursued to ^- ' 

the end. But he continued to dread Spanish intervention, T . he n s P a :,, 

* ' mards still 

for, in common with most Englishmen of his time, he over- feared, 
estimated what was really a decaying and impoverished 
power. Cecil knew better, and throughout the spring and 
early summer of 1602 he continued to write in a rather 
contemptuous tone of Spanish intentions. In August he was 
able to say positively that there would be no invasion in force, 
though he could not promise that Philip would not send a 
few forlorn companies to keep up some sort of reputation in 
Europe, to put the Queen to cost, and ' to fill the world with 
continual rumour of his undertaking humour.' To Carew 
he wrote in the same strain, and with still greater freedom. 
It was impossible to keep Spanish ships from Irish harbours, 
'whereof there be more than the Queen hath ships,' but 
the coast of Spain might be so harassed as to give them 
enough to do at home. Sir Richard Leveson was better 
employed taking carracks in the Tagus than he could be in 
Ireland, and between Hollanders and Englishmen the Catholic 
King was not likely to have many men to spare. But the 
Queen would not grudge the necessary outlay to make Cork, 
Kinsale, and some minor posts defensible. Thus encouraged, 
Mountjoy was free to attack Ulster, and he proceeded slowly, 
but surely, to draw the net round Tyrone. 1 

Docwra was supposed to have between three and four Docwra 

thousand men in Derry and Donegal, Chichester nearly 1,000 chLhester 

in Ulster. 

1 Cecil to Mountjoy, Aug. 7 in Moryson; to Carew of Feb. 9, 1602, and 
throughout that year in Maclean; Chamberlain's Letters, June 27, 1602. 


CHAP, at Carrickfergus ; and about 800 more were in Lecale and 
~- r^- in the garrisons at Mount Norris, Armagh, Blackwater, and 
Newiy. Mountjoy had over 3,000 under his own command, 
and at the beginning of June he advanced to Dundalk. 
Docwra had established a post at Omagh, and had no diffi- 
culty in joining the Lord Deputy at Dungannon, while 
Chichester ferried his contingent over Lough Neagh. Tyrone, 
who had laid Dungannon in ashes, was forced out of his 
country into the almost inaccessible wilds of Glenconkein, 
and his deserted strongholds were taken. In one three guns 
were recovered, probably those taken at Blackwater. A new 
fort was built and manned at Mountjoy on Lough Neagh. 
Provisions falling short in July, Docwra was sent back to 
collect and victual a force at Omagh, with which Chichester, 
who now had hopes of ' soon beheading that wood-kerne 
Tyrone,' could co-operate from his fortified post at Castle 
Toome on Lough Neagh. Mountjoy retired towards Mona- 
ghan, taking all the small strengths in that direction, though 
not entirely without loss from sharpshooters, and wrote home 
to urge the positive necessity of keeping the garrisons on foot. 
Tyrone was now driven from place to place like a hunted 
hare ; but if the efforts to run him down were allowed to 
relax, he would gain strength quickly, and all the work would 
have to be done over again. 1 

The Queen Tyrone was now begging earnestly for mercy, but the 
to 8 S pare Ued fe^ 6 f Essex warned Mountjoy against meddling with so 
Tyrone. dangerous a person. The rebel would not come in upon 
his bare word, nor would he give that word ; for to detain 
him afterwards would be dishonourable, while he might be 
blamed for letting him go. He could only urge that while 
Tyrone was lowest was the best time to bring him to terms. 
After much hesitation the Queen was induced. to promise him 
his life, but through Mountjoy only, and without divulging any- 
thing to the Council. Cecil saw no reason why she should not 
publish it to all the world. If peace could only be dreamed 
of, he said, ' for saving of Christian blood and of miseries of 
her natural people from hence hourly sent to the shambles ! 

1 Moryson, May 30 to July 19, on which day Mountjoy reached Mona- 
ghan ; Chichester to Cecil, June 20 and 2 

THE END OF THE KEIGN, 1602-1603. 4 19 

. . . but her Majesty is the kingdom, and myself her CHAP. 
humble vassal.' Negotiations went on through the latter half ^ 
of 1602, and in the meantime Mountjoy prosecuted the war. 
He gave out publicly that the Queen had resolved never to 
pardon Tyrone, but let him know that he himself might pos- 
sibly become a suitor for him. That depended on how he 
behaved ; ' and yet,' he wrote, ' I have told him that I will 
cut his throat in the meantime if I can.' l 

Carew had nominally nearly 5,000 men to complete the Carew 
reduction of Munster, but the real number was much less. Munster. 

Nearly half of the available force was sent, under Thomond's 

. I 

command, to ravage the country west of Kinsale and on both 

sides of Bantry Bay. Carew himself left Cork six weeks 
later, and made his first halt on Tyrone's late camping-ground 
near Carrigaline. Nights were spent at Timoleague, Ross- 
carbery, and Castle Haven, and Baltimore was reached on the 
fifth day. In crossing the mountains between Skibbereen 
and Bantry Bay slight resistance was made by some of the 
O'Driscolls and O'Sullivans, but Dunnemark was reached in 
safety on the eighth day from Cork. This place is called 
Carew Castle by the President, who is careful to note that it 
belonged to his ancestors, and that the Irish name was derived 
from their title of marquis. It is two miles to the north of 
Bantry, and was found a convenient place to collect the 
cattle and ponies of the neighbouring country. An O'Daly, 
whose ancestors had been hereditary bards of the old Carews, 
was here caught tampering with Owen O'Sullivan, and 
was sent for trial to Cork. The Spaniards in Dunboy were 
warned that they could expect no quarter if they remained 
there. If they left before the siege began they would be 
sent safely to Spain, and Carew suggested that they might 
deserve greater favour by spiking the guns or disabling the 
carriages before they came away. No notice was taken of this 
message, and the army lay at Dunnemark until all was ready 
for the attack on Dunboy. 2 

1 Mountjoy to Cecil, June 5, 1602, and Jan. 8, 1603 ; Cecil to Windebank, 
June 15, 1602. Windebank read the latter to the Queen. 

2 Journal among R.O. MSS. Ireland, April 23 to May 7; Pacata, Hibeniia, 
book ii. chaps, ii, and iii. 

Kfi '> 


CHAP. Early in February Carew sent Sir Charles Wilmot to 

^ ' Kerry with a force sufficient to overcome what remained 

Kerry. o f the rebellion there. Lixnaw Castle was taken, and Lord 
Fitzmaurice driven away into the mountains of Desmond. 
Carrigafoyle was found deserted and partly dismantled. 
The Dingle peninsula was thoroughly ransacked, the castles 
all taken, and the Knight of Kerry driven into Desmond. 
The cattle in Iveragh were also collected, and their owners 
forced into the woods of Glengariffe. Wilmot's road to 
Bantry Bay layby Mucross and Mangerton ' a most hideous 
and uncouth mountain ' and great preparations were made 
to attack him by the way. Carew moved up as far as Car- 
riganass, and in the end the Irish showed no fight, though 
trees had been felled and breastworks erected at every point 
of vantage. The junction of the two forces was effected, and 
on the same day ships came from Cork. The army had pro- 
visions left for only two days, and would have been forced to 
retreat but for this seasonable aid. 1 

Dunboy Dermot Moyle MacCarthy, Florence's brother, had been in 

Ulster the year before, and Carew had then declared his inten- 
tion to plague him on his return. He thought him both wiser 
and braver than Florence himself, and certainly more popular 
with the scattered swordsmen half soldiers, half caterans 
who still maintained the rebellion. Reduced to want by 
Carew and Wilmot, this chief took some cows belonging to 
MacCarthy Reagh, and while fighting for their possession was 
killed by his own first cousin. To prevent his head from 
being exposed at Cork, as the President had threatened, the 
dead man was conveyed to Timoleague Abbey and there buried 
by a friar with great solemnity. After this it was judged 
impossible to take a military train round by GlengarifFe, and 
it was decided to cross Bantry Bay. Tyrrell seems to have 
understood that the game was up, and would have been ready 
to join Thomond ; but the Jesuit Archer prevented him, and 
he failed to come to the parley which he had himself asked 
for. The weather was very bad all this time, which the 
superstitious attributed to Archer's conjury, but Carew said 
1 Pacata Hibernia, book iii. chaps, iii. and iv. 

THE END OF THE EEIGN, 1602-1603. 421 

he hoped soon to conjure his head into a halter. And yet he CHAP, 
was not altogether incredulous himself. 'The country of -- ^ 
Bere,' he wrote, ' is full of witches. Between them and 
Archer I do partly believe the devil hath been raised to serve 
their turn.' Nevertheless Thomond established himself in 
Bere Island by June 1, and here he had an interview with 
Richard MacGeohegan, who held Dunboy for O'Sullivan. 
The Earl argued that the castle must fall, and urged the 
constable to gain credit by yielding it in time, while the 
latter tried to make out that the besiegers ran upon certain 
defeat, and could never even land in face of such strong for- 
tifications. Neither persuaded the other, and Carew went on 
with his preparations. 1 

In spite of the witches, the army was transported into Carew at 
Bere Island without much difficulty. The sandy bay near 
Dunboy was found strongly fortified, and Carew resolved to 
make a false attack. The little island of Dinish was seized 
and two guns mounted on it, the fire of which occupied 
the defenders of the works on shore. The main body was 
then quietly ferried across Berehaven to a point westward 
of Dinish and close to Castletown. High ground hid the 
landing-place from the castle, and when the stratagem was 
at last discovered the Irish had to go round a deep creek. 
They found Carew's men ready for them, and were worsted 
in the skirmish which followed. Tyrrell was wounded. 
Archer narrowly escaped, leaving his missal behind him, as 
well as a servant, who was immediately executed. On the 
morrow a camp was pitched half a mile to the north-east. Next 
day the work of entrenching began, materials for gabions 
having to be brought from a wood nearly two miles away. 
The artillery was landed in full view of the castle and without 
damage from its fire, but Carew did not begin to batter 
until the eleventh day after landing. In the meantime the Irish 
had taken courage from the arrival of a Spanish vessel at 
Kilmakilloge in Kenmare Bay. She brought 12, 000?., much 

1 Journal, May 13 to June 1 ; Carew to Cecil, Aug. 6, 1601, May 29, 
1602 ; Pacata Hibernia, book iii. chap. v. ; Carew to Mountjoy, June 1 
1602, in Carew. 


CHAP, ammunition, and letters urging the Irish chiefs to remain 

< ^ ' firm. But perhaps the most important part of the cargo 

''was Owen MacEgan, Bishop-designate of Ross and Vicar 

Apostolic or Nuncio, for he is called by both titles, who had 

absolute ecclesiastical authority over all Munster. He was 

able to impress the defenders of Dunboy with the idea that a 

great Spanish force would immediately come to their relief, 

and they imagined that they could hold out for two or three 

months. 1 

An island The Irish had built a small fort in the island of Dursey, 

which they intended for their last refuge. It was defended 
by forty men and three pieces of Spanish artillery. Captain 
Bostock and Owen O'Sullivan were sent by Carew, with 160 
men, to reduce this remote stronghold. The water being 
tolerably smooth, the Queen's pinnace was brought up near 
enough to attack from the sea side, and the bulk of the men 
were landed in boats. The soldiers showed so much dash in 
assaulting the fort that the garrison came out and surrendered 
as soon as the outwork was forced. They were taken to 
Carew's camp, and all executed. Owen O'Sullivan recovered 
his wife, who had been O'Sullivan Bere's prisoner since Feb- 
ruary. In this out-of-the way place Bostock found no less 
than 500 milch cows, besides wheat and oil, and the existence 
of such islands goes far to explain the long resistance of 
West Munster. Nothing could be done ag